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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fluorination‐Enhanced Surface Stability of Disordered Rocksalt Cathodes


Cation-disordered rocksalt (DRX) oxides are a promising new class of high-energy-density cathode materials for next-generation Li-ion batteries. However, their capacity fade presents a major challenge. Partial fluorine (F) substitution into the oxygen (O) lattice appears to be an effective strategy for improving the cycling stability, but the underlying atomistic mechanism remains elusive. Here, using a combination of advanced transmission electron microscopy based imaging and spectroscopy techniques, the structural and chemical evolution upon cycling of Mn-based DRX cathodes with an increasing F content (Li-Mn-Nb-O-Fx , x = 0, 0.05, 0.2) are probed. The atomic origin behind the beneficial effect of high-level fluorination for enhancing the surface stability of the DRX is revealed. It is discovered that, due to the reduced O redox activity while with increasing F concentration, F in the DRX lattice mitigates the formation of an O-deficient surface layer upon cycling. For low F-substituted DRX, the O loss near the surface results in the formation of an amorphous cathode-electrolyte interphase layer and nanoscale voids after extended cycling. Increased F concentration in the DRX lattice minimizes both O loss and the interfacial reactions between DRX and the liquid electrolyte, enhancing the surface stability of DRX. These results provide guidance on the development of next-generation cathode materials through anion substitution.

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