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Nano Research

Article Title

Ambient synthesis, characterization, and electrochemical activity of LiFePO4 nanomaterials derived from iron phosphate intermediates

Authors

Jonathan M. Patete, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA
Megan E. Scofield, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA
Vyacheslav Volkov, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Sciences Department, Building 480, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Christopher Koenigsmann, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA
Yiman Zhang, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA
Amy C. Marschilok, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA Department of Materials Science and Engineering, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2275, USA
Xiaoya Wang, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA Sustainable Energy Technologies Department, Building 815, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Jianming Bai, National Synchrotron Light Source II, Building 741, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Jinkyu Han, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Sciences Department, Building 480, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Lei Wang, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA
Feng Wang, Sustainable Energy Technologies Department, Building 815, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Yimei Zhu, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Sciences Department, Building 480, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Jason A. Graetz, Sustainable Energy Technologies Department, Building 815, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Stanislaus S. Wong, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Sciences Department, Building 480, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA

Keywords

ambient synthesis, template synthesis, cathode material, lithium iron phosphate, nanostructures

Abstract

LiFePO4 materials have become increasingly popular as a cathode material due to the many benefits they possess including thermal stability, durability, low cost, and long life span. Nevertheless, to broaden the general appeal of this material for practical electrochemical applications, it would be useful to develop a relatively mild, reasonably simple synthesis method of this cathode material. Herein, we describe a generalizable, 2-step methodology of sustainably synthesizing LiFePO4 by incorporating a template-based, ambient, surfactantless, seedless, U-tube proto- col in order to generate size and morphologically tailored, crystalline, phase-pure nanowires. The purity, composition, crystallinity, and intrinsic quality of these wires were systematically assessed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution TEM (HRTEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffrac- tion (XRD), selected area electron diffraction (SAED), energy dispersive analysis of X-rays (EDAX), and high-resolution synchrotron XRD. From these techniques, we were able to determine that there is an absence of any obvious defects present in our wires, supporting the viability of our synthetic approach. Electrochemical analysis was also employed to assess their electrochemical activity. Although our nanowires do not contain any noticeable impurities, we attribute their less than optimal electrochemical rigor to differences in the chemical bondingbetween our LiFePO4 nanowires and their bulk-like counterparts. Specifically, we demonstrate for the first time experimentally that the Fe–O3 chemical bond plays an important role in determining the overall conductivity of the material, an assertion which is further supported by recent “first-principles”calculations. Nonetheless, our ambient, solution-based synthesis technique is capable of generating highly crystalline and phase-pure energy-storage-relevant nanowires that can be tailored so as to fabricate different sized materials of reproducible, reliable morphology.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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