Lithiation-induced shuffling of atomic stacks

Anmin Nie, Yingchun Cheng, Yihan Zhu, Hasti Asayesh-Ardakani, Runzhe Tao, Farzad Mashayek, Yu Han, Udo Schwingenschlögl, Robert F. Klie, Sreeram Vaddiraju, Reza Shahbazian-Yassar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, understanding the atomic-scale mechanism of Li-induced structural evolution occurring at the host electrode materials provides essential knowledge for design of new high performance electrodes. Here, we report a new crystalline-crystalline phase transition mechanism in single-crystal Zn-Sb intermetallic nanowires upon lithiation. Using in situ transmission electron microscopy, we observed that stacks of atomic planes in an intermediate hexagonal (h-)LiZnSb phase are "shuffled" to accommodate the geometrical confinement stress arising from lamellar nanodomains intercalated by lithium ions. Such atomic rearrangement arises from the anisotropic lithium diffusion and is accompanied by appearance of partial dislocations. This transient structure mediates further phase transition from h-LiZnSb to cubic (c-)Li2ZnSb, which is associated with a nearly "zero-strain" coherent interface viewed along the [001]h/[111]c directions. This study provides new mechanistic insights into complex electrochemically driven crystalline-crystalline phase transitions in lithium-ion battery electrodes and represents a noble example of atomic-level structural and interfacial rearrangements.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5301-5307
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Volume14
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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