Researchers from Northwestern University and Clemson University alongside researchers from Sejong University in Korea have studied the cause of degradation in high energy density lithium-ion battery (LIB) cathode materials and have developed methods for mitigating these degradation mechanisms and increasing performance by utilizing graphene, according to Graphene Info.
These researchers use a strategy known as Surface Chemical Characterization for identifying and minimizing residual hydroxide, and carbonate impurities from the synthesis of nickel, cobalt, and aluminum nanoparticles.
This allowed for the realization that they could prepare the LIB cathode surfaces through suitable annealing, in which the cathode nanoparticles are heated to remove surface impurities, then locked into the correct position with atomically thin graphene coating.
This lead them to understand that by pre-annealing the cathode materials, its performance would be improved when the graphene coating was applied. This work exhibits a clear path toward the creation of high-performance, nanoparticle-based energy storage devices.