Facile synthesis and characterization of a SnO2-modified LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 high-voltage cathode material with superior electrochemical performance for lithium ion batteries
A thin-layer-SnO2 modified LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4@SnO2 material is synthesized via a facile synthetic approach. It is physically and electrochemically characterized as a high-voltage lithium ion battery cathode and compared to the pristine LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 material prepared under similar conditions. The two materials are proved to be crystals of a well-defined disordered spinel phase with the morphology of aggregates of micron/submicron polyhedral particles. The Mn3+ ions and the inactive NixLiyO phase in the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4@SnO2 is less than those in the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 due to incorporation of a very small amount of Sn2+ into the spinel structure upon high-temperature calcination of the precursor. Besides, the mean particle size of the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4@SnO2 is obviously smaller than that of the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4. The LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4@SnO2 demonstrates much superior electrochemical performance over the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 in terms of specific capacity, rate capability and cyclability. For example, the discharge capacities at current rates of 0.2C, 2C and 20C are 145.4, 139.9 and 112.2 mA h g−1, respectively. A capacity retention rate of ca. 75% is obtained after 500 cycles at 2C rate. The improved electrochemical performance is attributed to the positive effect of the surface protective SnO2 coating layer as well as the structural and morphological modifications of the spinel.