Nanostructured materials for Lithium-ion battery technology

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Armstrong, Mark J.
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University College Cork
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The Li-ion battery has for several years been at the forefront of powering an ever-increasing number of modem consumer electronic devices such as laptops, tablet PCs, cell phones, portable music players etc., while in more recent times, has also been sought to power a range of emerging electric and hybrid-electric vehicle classes. Given their extreme popularity, a number of features which define the performance of the Li-ion battery have become a target of improvement and have garnered tremendous research effort over the past two decades. Features such as battery capacity, voltage, lifetime, rate performance, together with important implications such as safety, environmental benignity and cost have all attracted attention. Although properties such as cell voltage and theoretical capacity are bound by the selection of electrode materials which constitute its interior, other performance makers of the Li-ion battery such as actual capacity, lifetime and rate performance may be improved by tailoring such materials with characteristics favourable to Li+ intercalation. One such tailoring route involves shrinking of the constituent electrode materials to that of the nanoscale, where the ultra-small diameters may bestow favourable Li+ intercalation properties while providing a necessary mechanical robustness during routine electrochemical operation. The work detailed in this thesis describes a range of synthetic routes taken in nanostructuring a selection of choice Li-ion positive electrode candidates, together with a review of their respective Li-ion performances. Chapter one of this thesis serves to highlight a number of key advancements which have been made and detailed in the literature over recent years pertaining to the use of nanostructured materials in Li-ion technology. Chapter two provides an overview of the experimental conditions and techniques employed in the synthesis and electrochemical characterisation of the as-prepared electrode materials constituting this doctoral thesis. Chapter three details the synthesis of small-diameter V2O5 and V2O5/TiO2 nanocomposite structures prepared by a novel carbon nanocage templating method using liquid precursors. Chapter four details a hydrothermal synthesis and characterisation of nanostructured β-LiVOPO4 powders together with an overview of their Li+ insertion properties while chapter five focuses on supercritical fluid synthesis as one technique in the tailoring of FeF2 and CoF2 powders having potentially appealing Li-ion 'conversion' properties. Finally, chapter six summarises the overall conclusions drawn from the results presented in this thesis, coupled with an indication of potential future work which may be explored upon the materials described in this work.
Li-ion , Lithium-ion , Nanomaterials , Battery
Armstrong, M. J. 2013. Nanostructured materials for Lithium-ion battery technology. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.