New generations of lithium-ion batteries are required combining high energy and power densities with low cost and high safety, for applications such as electric vehicles or static energy storage. This in turn, requires the introduction of new electrode materials. It has been demonstrated that when extra lithium is added to layered LiMO2 electrodes, notably those in which M = Mn & Ni, or Mn, Ni & Co, capacities > 200 mA h g-1 can be obtained if the electrodes are initially charged to above 4.5 V. Of particular importance are the lithium-rich Li-Mn-Ni-Co-O materials that are being exploited for the next generation of high-energy lithium-ion cells. These capacities exceed those expected based on the transition metal redox couples, indicating that another species contributes to the capacity. These O-redox materials have the potential to increase energy densities and therefore range of electric vehicles.
The Group uses advanced techniques to probe the reactions taking place in these cathode materials. Recent work has demonstrated the importance structure on performace and the role of molecular oxygen.
Professor Bruce leads workpackage 1 of the Faraday Institution's CATMAT project.