The intermetallic compound La Sn3 has been explored as a possible negative electrode for lithium-ion batteries. A combination of experiment and density functional theory calculations provides evidence that the structure is intolerant to lithium insertion and that the electrochemical reaction occurs via a displacement mechanism. Experiment shows that approximately six Li react initially with La Sn3; calculated energetics suggest that during the reaction La3 Sn5 and lithiated tin are formed and that the electrode operates by delithiation and relithiation of the Sn particles within an inert lanthanum-tin matrix. La Sn3 electrodes provide a reversible specific capacity of 200-250 mAhg, whereas In-substituted electrodes that form a solid solution with La Sn3, such as La Sn2.7 In0.3, yield a slightly lower capacity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry