A high-energy conversion-type cathode activated by amorpholization for Li rechargeable batteries†
Although conversion-type electrodes deliver larger theoretical capacities than intercalation-type electrodes, their application as practical cathodes for Li rechargeable batteries is hindered by their intrinsically sluggish kinetics and low operating voltage. In this study, we demonstrate that the conversion-type electrochemical behaviors of Cu(PO3)2 in a Li-cell system are highly enhanced by amorpholization and carbon-mixing. In particular, the presence of the (PO3)− polyanion in the structure enables a much higher operation voltage of Cu(PO3)2 relative to that of other conversion-type metal-oxide electrodes, resulting from the inductive effect by phosphorus with high electronegativity. As a result, the amorphorized Cu(PO3)2/C composite delivers not only a large reversible capacity of ∼240 mA h g−1 at 12 mA g−1 but also an average operation voltage of ∼2.8 V (vs. Li+/Li). Even at a high current density of 1200 mA g−1, up to ∼60% of the specific capacity at 12 mA g−1 is retained. Furthermore, the capacity retention after 300 cycles at 480 mA g−1 is ∼77% of the initial capacity. This outstanding power capability and cyclability of the amorphorized Cu(PO3)2/C composite differ markedly from the poor electrochemical properties of the well-crystallized Cu(PO3)2/C composites, indicating the enhanced kinetics of the conversion reaction in Cu(PO3)2 by amorpholization. In addition, the reversible conversion-reaction mechanism of Cu(PO3)2 in a Li-cell system is demonstrated through various experimental measurements.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A Emerging Investigators