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Sodium-Ion Batteries: A Next-Generation Energy Storage System

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Sodium-Ion Batteries: A Next-Generation Energy Storage System

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have created high-performance cathodes for Na-ion batteries to solve air/water and structural-electrochemical instability.

Depiction of the influence of raised TM­-O bond covalency on the stabilization of the P2 structure for Na-TM-oxide even at a high Na-content of ~0.84 p.f.u.; thus, leading to the development of a high capacity (viz., greater than most reported to-date) and very stable P2-structured Na([]0.06Li0.04Mg0.02Ni0.22Mn0.66)O2 cathode material, which exhibits excellent performances in Na-ion cells (as published in, Chem. Mater. 34[23] (2022) 10470–10483).
Depiction of the influence of raised T-O bond covalency on the stabilization of the P2 structure for Na-TM-oxide even at a high Na-content of ~0.84 p.f.u.; thus, leading to the development of a high capacity (viz., greater than most reported to-date) and very stable P2-structured Na([]0.06Li0.04Mg0.02Ni0.22Mn0.66)O2 cathode material, which exhibits excellent performances in Na-ion cells (as published in, Chem. Mater. 34[23] (2022) 10470–10483).

Sodium-ion batteries are important for climate and India’s resources. They use cathode and anode materials for charge/discharge. Good performance needs stable electrodes, Sodium (Na) transport, and low resistance. Yet, Na-TM-oxide-based cathodes need improvements for moisture stability and handling, which requires toxic N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) instead of water-based slurries.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have developed new, high-performance cathode materials for Na-ion batteries that address air/water and structural-electrochemical instability issues at the same time. The new materials have good cyclic and air/water stability, making them ideal for cost-effective and sustainable energy storage in various applications, from consumer electronics and grid storage to renewable energy and electric vehicles.

The team used materials science and electrochemical principles to develop a universal design criterion for high-performance, stable cathodes for Na-ion batteries, supported by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) Materials for Energy Storage scheme. They suggest adjusting the Na-TM-oxide cathode structure by modifying TM-O bond covalency to create “interslab” spacing. This allows for the successful design and widespread development of sustainable, high-performance Na-ion batteries. In the Na-TM-oxide structure, alternate NaO2 and TMO2 ‘slabs’ share O-ions with a net negative charge, which are ionic for Na-O and iono-covalent for TM-O bonds. By adjusting the degree of covalency in the TM-O bond through the combination of cations in the TM-layer, the net negative charge on the O-ion can be tuned to affect electrostatic attraction and repulsion between Na- and O-ions across the Na-layer.

The higher effective negative charge on O-ion due to reduced TM-O covalency strengthens the Na-O bond, reducing inter-slab spacing and improving air/water stability, suppressing deleterious structural transitions in Na-TM-oxide cathode materials. New water-stable cathodes for Na-ion batteries can be prepared via a cost-effective and environment-friendly aqueous processing route. Greater TM-O bond covalency results in weaker and longer Na-O bonds and an increased “inter-slab” spacing. The study shows that a reduced inter-slab spacing resulting from a lower effective negative charge on the O-ion due to greater TM-O bond covalency can enhance the rate-capability and power density of the cathode in Na-ion batteries.

The researchers stabilized the P2 structure for Na-TM-oxide cathode materials at a higher Na-content, enhancing Na-storage capacity and air/water stability. These findings are expected to facilitate the development of cost-effective Na-ion battery systems through environment-friendly electrode processing.

Reference :

I. Biswas, B. S. Kumar, A. Pradeep, and A. Mukhopadhyay: An O3-structured ‘Layered’ Sodium Transition Metal Oxide-based Cathode Material for Na-ion batteries; Indian Patent Application No.: 202321016587, dated 13-03-2023 (Patent filed)

B. S. Kumar, A. Pradeep, Amardeep and A. Mukhopadhyay: High Sodium Containing P2-type Sodium Transition Metal Oxide-based Cathode for Na-ion Batteries; Indian Patent No.: 406595; dated: 14/09/2022 (Patent granted)