Characterization of LiCoO2 nanoparticle suspensions by single collision events†
Transient electrochemical experiments associated with the collisions between hydrothermally synthesized LiCoO2 (LCO) nanoparticles/aggregates of different sizes and a polarized gold ultramicroelectrode (UME) were used as a new additive-free analytical tool applied to Li ion insertion compounds. The size of the LCO nanoparticles/aggregates, ranging from 75 to 450 nm, the diffusion coefficient of the LCO nanoparticles/aggregates in suspension (∼8 × 10−9 cm2 s−1), and the Li ion diffusion coefficient within crystalline LCO nanoparticles (∼1.3 × 10−11 cm2 s−1) were estimated from single collision events. Interestingly, the charge exchanged during each nanoparticle collision was related to the size of the corresponding LCO aggregate, which enables electrochemical sizing distribution measurement displaying evident concordance with optical techniques, including dynamic light scattering (DLS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). Studying the nanoparticle collision frequency on the UME surface as a function of the LCO nanoparticle concentration allows estimation of the diffusion coefficient of LCO nanoparticles/aggregates in suspension. Finally, from the current decay observed in chronoamperometry after LCO nanoparticle collision on the polarized UME surface, which corresponds to the LCO oxidation (i.e. the Li+ deinsertion reaction), the Li ion diffusion coefficient within the host crystalline material is estimated. This is a key parameter, which controls the cycle lifetime and charge rate in Li ion battery performance. This new approach thus allows a fine description of the nanoparticle properties, which includes sizing as well as estimation of the Li ion diffusion coefficient within the host crystalline material.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 PCCP HOT Articles