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Tailoring the Electrochemical Activity of Magnesium Chromium Oxide Towards Mg Batteries Through Control of Size and Crystal Structure

Abstract

Chromium oxides with the spinel structure are predicted to be promising high voltage cathode materials in batteries based on the intercalation of Mg2+. Perennial challenges involving the mobility of Mg2+ and reaction kinetics can be circumvented by nano-sizing the materials in order to reduce diffusion distances, and by using elevated temperatures to overcome activation energy barriers. Hydrothermal methods are known as credible routes to produce crystalline nanoparticles with controllable size and composition. Herein, ordered 7 nm crystals of spinel-type MgCr2O4 were synthesized by a conventional batch hydrothermal method. In comparison, the less known Continuous Hydrothermal Flow Synthesis (CHFS) method was used to make sub 5 nm, highly defective nanomaterials. The materials were shown to possess markedly different electrochemical behavior in a Mg2+ ionic liquid electrolyte, at moderate temperature (110 °C). The anodic activity of the ordered nanocrystals was attributed to surface reactions, most likely involving the electrolyte. In contrast, evidence was gathered of the reversible bulk deintercalation of Mg from the nanocrystals made by CHFS. This work shows the impact on electrochemical behavior of a precise control of size and crystal structure of MgCr2O4. It advances the understanding and design of cathode materials for Mg-based batteries.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Oct 2018, accepted on 03 Dec 2018 and first published on 03 Dec 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR08347A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Tailoring the Electrochemical Activity of Magnesium Chromium Oxide Towards Mg Batteries Through Control of Size and Crystal Structure

    L. Hu, I. D. Johnson, S. Kim, G. M. Nolis, J. Freeland, H. D. Yoo, T. T. Fister, L. McCafferty, T. E. Ashton, J. A. Darr and J. Cabana, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR08347A

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