Factors Defining the Intercalation Electrochemistry of CaFe2O4-Type Manganese Oxides

Gene Nolis, José M. Gallardo-Amores, Jon Serrano-Sevillano, Evan Jahrman, Hyun Deog Yoo, Linhua Hu, Justin C. Hancock, Jannie Bolotnikov, Soojeong Kim, John W. Freeland, Yi Sheng Liu, Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier, Gerald T. Seidler, Jinghua Guo, Miguel A. Alario-Franco, Montse Casas-Cabanas, Emilio Morán, Jordi Cabana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Oxides with the CaFe2O4-type structure have been predicted as being suitable hosts for reactions of intercalation of light cations such as Li and Mg because of their favorable cationic diffusion. Although Li has been shown to intercalate into the Mn2O4 variant, the key structure property correlations determining function are not fully ascertained. This basic information is needed before attempting the intercalation of divalent cations, which face comparably higher migration barriers. For this purpose, the electrode function of CaFe2O4-type Li0.8Mn2O4 was compared for materials made by a direct high-pressure route or through cation exchange from NaMn2O4. X-ray diffraction and absorption spectroscopy revealed that, despite having largely the same bulk structure, the presence of surface defects blocked Li+ transfer in Li0.8Mn2O4 made at high pressure. These defects were not present in the cation-exchanged material, which resulted in highly reversible Li intercalation with very fast kinetics in micrometric crystals. Delithiated electrodes from the cation-exchange synthesis were subsequently reduced in an ionic liquid electrolyte containing Mg2+. The process induced topotactic changes in the bulk, strongly suggesting the existence of intercalation, but it is accompanied by severe reactivity with the electrolyte that impedes reversibility. This study uncovers that defects affect the fundamentals of cation intercalation in this novel class of materials. The ability of the cation-exchanged material to conduct fast reactions with Li is consistent with calculated activation energy barriers and creates promise for their use as Mg hosts, provided that novel electrolytes enhanced stability at high potential can be realized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8203-8215
Number of pages13
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 13 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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