Origin of Enhanced Cyclability in Covalently Modified LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4 Cathodes

Kenneth E. Madsen, Kevin A. Wade, Richard T. Haasch, D. Bruce Buchholz, Kimberly L. Bassett, Bruno G. Nicolau, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-voltage lithium-ion cathode materials exhibit exceptional energy densities; however, rapid capacity fade during cell cycling prohibits their widespread utilization. Surface modification of cathode-active materials by organic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) has emerged as an approach to improve the longevity of high-voltage electrodes; however, the surface chemistry at the electrode/electrolyte interphase and its dependence on monolayer structure remains unclear. Herein, we investigate the interplay between monolayer structure, electrochemical performance, and surface chemistry of high-voltage LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4 (LMNO) electrodes by the application of silane-based SAMs of variable length and chemical composition. We demonstrate that the application of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic monolayers results in improved galvanostatic capacity retention relative to unmodified LMNO. The extent of this improvement is tied to the structure of the monolayer with fluorinated alkyl-silanes exhibiting the greatest overall capacity retention, above 96% after 100 charge/discharge cycles. Postmortem surface analysis reveals that the presence of the monolayer enhances the deposition of LiF at the electrode surface during cell cycling and that the total surface concentration correlates with the overall improvements in capacity retention. We propose that the enhanced deposition of highly insulating LiF increases the anodic stability of the interphase, contributing to the improved galvanostatic performance of modified electrodes. Moreover, this work demonstrates that the modification of the electrode surface by the selection of an appropriate monolayer is an effective approach to tune the properties and behavior of the electrode/electrolyte interphase formed during battery operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39890-39901
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 30 2019


  • lithium fluoride
  • lithium manganese nickel oxide
  • lithium-ion cathode
  • organosilane
  • self-assembled monolayer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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