Multiconstituent synthesis of LiFePO4/C composites with hierarchical porosity as cathode materials for lithium ion batteries

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Abstract

Monolithic, three-dimensionally ordered macroporous and meso-/microporous (3DOM/m) LiFePO4/C composite cathodes for lithium ion batteries were synthesized by a multiconstituent, dual templating method. Precursors containing sources for lithium, iron, and phosphate, as well as a phenol-formaldehyde sol and a nonionic surfactant were infiltrated into a colloidal crystal template. Millimeter-sized monolithic composite pieces were obtained, in which LiFePO 4 was dispersed in a carbon phase around an interconnected network of ordered macropores. The composite walls themselves contained micropores or small mesopores. The carbon phase enhanced the electrical conductivity of the cathode and maintained LiFePO4 as a highly dispersed phase during the synthesis and during electrochemical cycling. Monoliths containing 30 wt % C were electrochemically cycled in a 3-electrode cell with lithium foil as counter and reference electrodes. No additional binder or conductive agent was used. The capacity was as high as 150 mA h g-1 at a rate of C/5, 123 mA h g-1 at C, 78 mA h g-1 at 8C, and 64 mA h g-1 at 16C, showing no capacity fading over 100 cycles. In spite of the low electronic conductivity of bulk LiFePO4 (10-9-10-10 S cm-1), the monolithic LiFePO4/C composite was able to support current densities as high as 2720 mA g-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3237-3245
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume23
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 12 2011

Keywords

  • Lithium iron phosphate
  • carbon
  • cathode
  • composites
  • lithium ion battery
  • porous electrodes

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