Lithiation of multilayer Ni/NiO electrodes: Criticality of nickel layer thicknesses on conversion reaction kinetics

Guennadi Evmenenko, Timothy T. Fister, D. Bruce Buchholz, Fernando C. Castro, Qianqian Li, Jinsong Wu, Vinayak P. Dravid, Paul Fenter*, Michael J. Bedzyk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


X-ray reflectivity and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to characterize the morphological changes in thin film electrodes with alternating Ni and NiO layers during lithiation as a function of the Ni buffer layer thickness. Complete lithiation of the active NiO layers occurs only when the thickness of the Ni/NiO bilayers are less than 75 Å-a threshold value that is determined by the sum of the Ni quantity in the Ni/NiO bilayer of the multilayer stack. Thicker Ni/NiO bilayers present a kinetic barrier for lithium ion diffusion inside the stack resulting in partial lithiation of the multilayer electrodes in which only the top NiO layer lithiates. Lithiation of NiO layers in a multilayer stack also leads to an interface-specific reaction that is observed to increase the thicknesses of adjacent Ni layers by 3-4 Å and is associated with the formation of a low-density Li2O layer, corresponding to an interfacially-driven phase separation of the NiO. Rate dependent cyclic voltammetry studies reveal a linear relation between the peak current and scan rate suggesting that the lithiation kinetics are controlled by charge transfer resistance at the liquid-solid interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20029-20039
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number30
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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