Lithium ion manganese oxide battery
A Lithium ion manganese oxide battery is a lithium ion cell that uses manganese dioxide, MnO
2, as the primary cathode material. They function through the same intercalation/de-intercalation mechanism as other commercialized secondary battery technologies, such as LiCoO
2. They are a promising technology as their manganese-oxide components are earth-abundant, inexpensive, non-toxic, and provide better thermal stability.
One of the more prominent compounds is LiMn
4, a lithium-manganese-oxide based material with a spinel structure (space group Fd3m). In addition to being a cheap and non-toxic alternative material, the spinel structure of LiMn
4 provides a three-dimensional framework for the insertion and de-insertion of Li+
ions during discharge and charge of the battery. In particular, the Li+
ions occupy the interstitial spaces defined by the Mn
4 polyhedral frameworks. Thus, batteries with LiMn
4 cathodes should be able to provide a higher rate-capability compared to materials with two-dimensional frameworks for Li+
One main disadvantage of LiMn
4 based batteries is that they suffer from lower overall capacities as a result of their spinel structure. Furthermore, at higher temperatures, the LiMn
4 spinel structure is inherently unstable in the Li-based electrolytes used in Li-ion batteries. This results in dissolution of Mn ions and further capacity loss.
3 is layered rocksalt structure that is made of alternating layers of lithium ions and lithium and manganese ions in a 1:2 ratio, similar to the layered structure of LiCoO
2. Although Li
3 is electrochemically inactive, it can be charged to a high potential (4.5 V v.s Li0) in order to undergo lithiation/de-lithiation. However, extracting lithium from Li
3 at such a high potential results in loss of oxygen from the electrode surface which leads to poor capacity and cycling stability.
One of the main research efforts in the field of lithium-manganese oxide electrodes for lithium-ion batteries involves developing composite electrodes using structurally integrated layered Li
3 and spinel LiMn
4, with a chemical formula of xLi
3 • (1-x)Li
4. The combination of both structures provides increased structural stability during electrochemical cycling while achieving higher capacity and rate-capability. A rechargeable capacity in excess of 250 mAh/g was reported in 2005 using this material, which has nearly twice the capacity of current commercialized rechargeable batteries of the same dimensions.
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