• Zhang, J.; Wong, D.; Zhang, Q.; Zhang, N.; Schulz, C.; Bartkowiak, M.; An, K.; Gu, L.; Hu, Z.; Liu, X.: Reducing Co/O Band Overlap through Spin State Modulation for Stabilized High Capability of 4.6 V LiCoO2. Journal of the American Chemical Society 145 (2023), p. 10208–10219

Open Access Version

High-voltage LiCoO2 (LCO) attracts great interest because of its large specific capacity, but it suffers from oxygen release, structural degradation, and quick capacity drop. These daunting issues root from the inferior thermodynamics and kinetics of the triggered oxygen anion redox (OAR) at high voltages. Herein, a tuned redox mechanism with almost only Co redox is demonstrated by atomically engineered high-spin LCO. The high-spin Co network reduces the Co/O band overlap, eliminates the adverse phase transition of O3 → H1–3, delays the exceeding of the O 2p band over the Fermi level, and suppresses excessive O → Co charge transfer at high voltages. This function intrinsically promotes Co redox and restrains O redox, fundamentally addressing the issues of O2 release and coupled detrimental Co reduction. Moreover, the chemomechanical heterogeneity caused by different kinetics of Co/O redox centers and the inferior rate performance limited by slow O redox kinetics is simultaneously improved owing to the suppression of slow OAR and the excitation of fast Co redox. The modulated LCO delivers ultrahigh rate capacities of 216 mAh g–1 (1C) and 195 mAh g–1(5C), as well as high capacity retentions of 90.4% (@100 cycles) and 86.9% (@500 cycles). This work sheds new light on the design for a wide range of O redox cathodes.