Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replac

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replace the costly cobalt-based cathodes typically found in todays lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and consumer electronics.
The new class called NFA, which stands for nickel-, iron- and aluminum-based cathode, is a derivative of lithium nickelate and can be used to make the positive electrode of a lithium-ion battery. These novel cathodes are designed to be fast charging, energy dense, cost effective, and longer-lasting.
With the rise in the production of portable electronics and electric vehicles throughout the world, lithium-ion batteries are in high demand. According to Ilias Belharouak, ORNLs scientist leading the NFA research and development, more than 100 million electric vehicles are anticipated to be on the road by 2030. Cobalt is a metal currently needed for the cathode which makes up the significant portion of a lithium-ion batterys cost.
Advanced Materials – Lithium Iron Aluminum Nickelate, LiNixFeyAlzO2New Sustainable Cathodes for NextGeneration CobaltFree LiIon Batteries
In recent years, cobalt has become a critical constraint on the supply chain of the Liion battery industry. With the everincreasing projections for electric vehicles, the dependency of current Liion batteries on the everfluctuating cobalt prices poses serious environmental and sustainability issues. To address these challenges, a new class of cobaltfree materials with general formula of LiNixFeyAlzO2 (x + y + z = 1), termed as the lithium iron aluminum nickelate (NFA) class of cathodes, is introduced. These cobaltfree materials are synthesized using the solgel process to explore their compositional landscape by varying aluminum and iron. These NFA variants are characterized using electron microscopy, neutron and Xray diffraction, and Mössbauer and Xray photoelectron spectroscopy to investigate their morphological, physical, and crystalstructure properties. Operando experiments by Xray diffraction, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and galvanostatic intermittent titration have been also used to study the crystallographic transitions, electrochemical activity, and Liion diffusivity upon lithium removal and uptake in the NFA cathodes. NFA compositions yield specific capacities of 200 mAh g1, demonstrating reasonable rate capability and cycling stability with 80% capacity retention after 100 charge/discharge cycles. While this is an early stage of research, the potential that these cathodes could have as viable candidates in nextgeneration cobaltfree lithiumion batteries is highlighted here.
SOURCES- Advanced Materials, ORNLWritten By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com