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Dislocation and oxygen-release driven delithiation in Li2MnO3 : Professor Yuichi Ikuhara, Professor Naoya Shibata, Project Associate Professor Ryo Ishikawa, Project Researcher Kei Nakayama, Institute of Engineering Innovation, and other researchers.

Lithium-excess layered cathode materials such as Li2MnO3 have attracted much attention owing to their high energy densities. It has been proposed that oxygen-release and cation-mixing might be induced by delithiation. However, it is still unclear as to how the delithiated-region grows. Here, by using atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy combined with electron energy-loss spectroscopy, we directly observe the atomic structures at the interface between pristine and delithiated regions in the partially delithiated Li2MnO3 single crystal. We elucidate that the delithiated regions have extensive amounts of irreversible defects such as oxygen-release and Mn/Li cation-mixing. At the interface, a partially cation disordered structure is formed, where Mn migration occurred only in the specific Mn/Li layers. Besides, a number of dislocations are formed at the interface to compensate the lattice mismatch between the pristine and delithiated regions. The observed oxygen-release and dislocations could govern the growth of delithiated-regions and performance degradation in Li2MnO3.

Nature Communications :