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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A study of surface film formation on LiNi{sub 0.8}Co{sub 0.15}Al{sub 0.05}O{sub 2} cathodes using attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy


The surface films formed on commercial LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2 cathodes (ATD Gen2) charged from 3.75V to 4.2V vs. Li/Li+ in EC:DEC - 1M LiPF6 were analyzed using ex-situ Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with the attenuated total reflection (ATR) technique. A surface layer of Li2CO3 is present on the virgin cathode, probably from reaction of the active material with air during the cathode preparation procedure. The Li2CO3 layer disappeared even after soaking in the electrolyte, indicating that the layer dissolved into the electrolyte possibly even before potential cycling of the electrode. IR features only from the binder (PVdF) and a trace of polyamide from the Al current collector were observed on the surfaces of cathodes charged to below 4.2 V, i.e., no surface species from electrolyte oxidation. Some other IR features were, however, discovered on the cathode charged to 4.2 V. An electrolyte oxidation product was observed that appeared to contain dicarbonyl anhydride and (poly)ester functionalities. The reaction appears to be an indirect electrochemical oxidation with overcharging (removal of > 0.6 Li ions) destabilizing oxygen in the oxide lattice resulting in oxygen transfer to the solvent molecules.

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