Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 52, Issue 13, pp 8107–8118 | Cite as

Controlled synthesis of MnO2 nanoparticles for aqueous battery cathodes: polymorphism–capacity correlation

  • Elahe MoazzenEmail author
  • Elena V. Timofeeva
  • Carlo U. Segre
Original Paper


Polymorphs of MnO2 are known to have different electrochemical activity, with gamma (γ) and akhtenskite (ε) polymorphs often considered as the most active phases for aqueous battery cathodes. However, most synthetic samples contain a mixture of polymorph phases, which makes understanding of the structure-property correlations more complicated. In this paper, we report on a systematic study that correlates synthesis parameters with the morphology, phase composition and reversible storage capacity of the resulting nanoparticles. Rietveld analysis of X-ray powder diffraction patterns was used to accurately describe fractional composition of multi-phase nanoparticles. It was demonstrated that through control of the synthesis parameters desired phase compositions and nanoparticle morphologies can be achieved. The key synthesis parameters were found to be the concentration of Mn2+ precursor which strongly affects both the morphology and the crystalline structure of the products, and the time of reaction. The presence of surfactant only impacts the crystalline phase composition of the MnO2 nanoparticles and has insignificant effect on the morphology. It was also demonstrated that nanoparticles with higher fraction of the akhtenskite polymorph show higher reversible capacities in LiOH electrolyte (~210 mAh/g) compared to other MnO2 phase compositions (~120 mAh/g).


Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate MnO2 Rietveld Refinement Pyrolusite Ostwald Ripening 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dr. James Kaduk for helpful discussions on XRD analysis. This research was funded by US Department of Energy, Advanced Research Funding Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) (award #AR000387). Use of the Argonne National Laboratory, Center for Nanoscale Materials and Electron Microscopy Center are supported by the US Department of Energy, under Contract No. DE-AC02- 06CH11357.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2017_1018_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1331 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physics and CSRRIIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA

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