Undoped lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) was prepared and characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. The material has a single crystal globular structure with grain-sizes ca. 100-150nm. It was used to prepare composite electrodes containing different amounts of carbon (10, 15 and 20wt.%, respectively) used as cathodes in non-aqueous lithium cells. By increasing the carbon content, an increase in the overall electrochemical performance was observed. Impedance spectroscopy was used to investigate the ohmic and kinetic contributions to the cell overvoltage. It was found that increasing the carbon content leads to a reduction of the cell impedance as a consequence of the reduction of the charge transfer resistance. The poor performance exhibited at very high discharge rates is a direct consequence of the high value of the charge transfer resistance. A further decrease of the charge transfer resistance in high carbon content cathodes (20wt.% carbon) was obtained by improving the powder mixing procedure. The cell performance of well mixed, high carbon content electrodes was better than our previously obtained results in terms of higher capacity retention both for different discharge rates and repeated cycling. For currents larger than a 3C rate, a severe capacity fade affected the electrodes. It was concluded that the electronic contact at the LiFePO4/carbon interface plays a decisive role in material utilization at different discharge rates which affects the capacity fade upon cycling. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Analytical Chemistry