Titanium-modified Li 4 Ti 5 O 12 with a synergistic effect of surface modifying, bulk doping, and size reducing
In this work, a one-step solid-phase sintering process via TiO2 and Li2CO3 under an argon atmosphere, with ultra-fine titanium powder as the modifying agent, was used to prepare a nano-sized Li4Ti5O12/Ti composite (denoted as LTO–Ti) at 800 °C. The introduction of ultra-fine metal titanium powder played an important role. First, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy demonstrates that Ti4+ was partially changed into Ti3+, through the reduction of the ultra-fine metal titanium powder. Second, X-ray diffraction revealed that the ultra-fine metal titanium powder did not react with the bulk structure of Li4Ti5O12, while some pure titanium peaks could be seen. Additionally, the size of LTO–Ti particles could be significantly reduced from micro-scale to nano-scale. The structure and morphology of LTO–Ti were characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Electrochemical tests showed a charge/discharge current of 0.5, 1, 5, and 10 C; the discharge capacity of the LTO–Ti electrode was 170, 161, 140, and 111 mAh g−1. It is believed that the designed LTO–Ti composite makes full use of both components, thus offering a large contact area between the electrolyte and electrode, high electrical conductivity, and lithium-ion diffusion coefficient during electrochemical processes. Furthermore, ultra-fine titanium powder, as the modifying agent, is amenable to large-scale production.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11581-017-2278-4
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