Investigation of hydrogen content in chemically delithiated lithium-ion battery cathodes using prompt gamma activation analysis
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Lithium-ion batteries are widely used as a power source for portable electronic devices. Currently, only 50-70% of the theoretical capacity of the layered oxide cathode (positive electrode) materials could be reversibly used. The reason for this limitation is not fully understood in the literature. Recent structural and chemical characterizations of chemically delithiated (charged) cathodes suggest that loss of oxygen from the lattice may play a role in this regard. However, during the chemical delithiation process any proton inserted from the solvent could adversely affect the oxygen content analysis data. The challenge in addressing this issue is to detect and determine precisely the proton content in the chemically delithiated samples. The prompt gamma-ray activation analysis (PGAA) facility at the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory (NETL) is used to determine the proton content in the layered oxide cathode LiNi0.5Mn0.5O2 before and after chemical delithiation. The data are compared with those obtained with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which can provide mainly qualitative analysis. The technique has proved to be promising for these compounds and will be applied to characterize several other chemically delithiated Li1-xCo1-yMyO2 (M = Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Mg, and Al) cathodes.
KeywordsHydrogen Content Positive Electrode Theoretical Capacity Gamma Activation Prompt Gamma
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