The ordered LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 spinel exhibits great promise as a potential high-energy positive electrode for lithium-ion batteries due to its exceptionally high working potential of 4.7 V (vs. Li) and energy density of 640 Wh kg-1. The commercial application of this material at such voltages is unfortunately prevented by reaction phenomena including hydrofluoric acid attack and manganese dissolution, as well as the two-phase mechanism of Li insertion and extraction, with these limiting Li diffusivity and cycling stability. In this work, we demonstrate the improved performance of LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 achieved by encapsulating the material in a thin layer of silica (SiO2) or polyimide using a simple wet-chemical method and organic solvents. The pristine and coated ordered LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 spinel are both confirmed to have P4332 symmetry, with only a minor difference in their lattice parameter. The SiO2 coating is found to reduce capacity fade of ordered LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 by 45 and 65% at 25 and 55 °C, respectively, with the improvement attributed to enhanced Li diffusivity alongside the suppression of the hydrofluoric acid attack. The polyimide coating is found to have a marginally negative effect on both capacity and rate performance of ordered LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4, with this being greatly offset by excellent thermal stability leading to high-temperature protection, with the material having the low capacity fade of 0.0585 mAh g-1 cycle-1 at 55 °C, which is comparable to that at 25 °C. While similar effects of these coatings are found for disordered LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4, the magnitude of enhancement to properties offered by these coatings is significantly lesser than those found here for the ordered LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4. A stabilizing effect of the coatings that mitigates against phase segregation occurring during the additional two-phase reaction in the ordered but not the disordered phase of the material may explain the greater benefit of the coatings to the ordered phase.
Available for download on Tuesday, January 23, 2018