Interplay of cation and anion redox in Li4Mn2O5 cathode material and prediction of improved Li4(Mn,M)2O5 electrodes for Li-ion batteries

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  18 May 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 5, eaao6754
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao6754


Significant research effort has focused on improving the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries for emerging applications, such as electric vehicles. Recently, a rock salt–type Li4Mn2O5 cathode material with a large discharge capacity (~350 mA·hour g−1) was discovered. However, a full structural model of Li4Mn2O5 and its corresponding phase transformations, as well as the atomistic origins of the high capacity, warrants further investigation. We use first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations to investigate both the disordered rock salt–type Li4Mn2O5 structure and the ordered ground-state structure. The ionic ordering in the ground-state structure is determined via a DFT-based enumeration method. We use both the ordered and disordered structures to interrogate the delithiation process and find that it occurs via a three-step reaction pathway involving the complex interplay of cation and anion redox reactions: (i) an initial metal oxidation, Mn3+→Mn4+ (LixMn2O5, 4 > x > 2); (ii) followed by anion oxidation, O2−→O1− (2 > x > 1); and (iii) finally, further metal oxidation, Mn4+→Mn5+ (1 > x > 0). This final step is concomitant with the Mn migration from the original octahedral site to the adjacent tetrahedral site, introducing a kinetic barrier to reversible charge/discharge cycles. Armed with this knowledge of the charging process, we use high-throughput DFT calculations to study metal mixing in this compound, screening potential new materials for stability and kinetic reversibility. We predict that mixing with M = V and Cr in Li4(Mn,M)2O5 will produce new stable compounds with substantially improved electrochemical properties.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances