Studies On Nanostructured Transition Metal Oxides For Lithium-ion Batteries And Supercapacitoris
Rechargeable Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors are the most promising electrochemical energy storage devices in terms of energy density and power density, respectively. Recently, nanostructured materials have gained enormous interest in the field of energy technology as they have special properties compared to the bulk. Commercially available Li-ion batteries, which are the most advanced among the rechargeable batteries, utilize microcrystalline transition metal oxides as cathode materials which act as lithium insertion hosts. To explore better electrochemical performance the use of nanomaterials instead of conventional materials would be an excellent alternative. High Li-ion insertion at high discharge rates causes slow Li+ transport which in turn results in concentration polarization of lithium ions within the electrode material, causing a drop in cell voltage. This eventually, leads in termination of the discharge process before realizing the maximum capacity of the electrode material being used. This problem can be addressed by decreasing the average particle size which leads to an increase in surface area of the electrode material. Nanostructured materials, because of their high surface area and large surface to volume ratio, to some extent can overcome the problem of slow diffusion of ions. Supercapacitors are electrical energy storage devices which can deliver large energy in a short time. A supercapacitor can be used as an auxiliary energy device along with a primary source such as a battery or a fuel cell to achieve power enhancement in short pulse applications. Active materials for supercapacitors are classified into three categories: (i) carbonaceous materials, (ii) conducting polymers and (iii) metal oxides. Among the materials studied over the years, metal oxides have been considered as attractive electrode materials for supercapacitors due to the following merits: variable oxidation state, good chemical and electrochemical stability, ease of preparation and handling. The performance of supercapacitors can be enhanced by moving from bulk to nanostructured materials. The theme of the thesis is to explore novel routes to synthesize nanostructured materials for Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors, and to investigate their physical and electrochemical characteristics. Chapter I is an introduction of various types of electrochemical energy systems such as battery, fuel cell and supercapacitor. A brief review is made on electrode materials for Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors, and nanostructured materials. Chapter II deals with the study of nanostrip orthorhombic V2O5 synthesized by a two-step procedure, with the formation of a vanadyl ethylene glycolate precursor and post-calcination treatment. The precursor and the final product are characterized for phase and composition by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared (IR) spectroscopy, thermal analysis (TGA) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The morphological changes are investigated using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). It is found that the individual strips have the following dimensions, length: 1.3 μm, width: 332 nm and thickness: 45 nm. The electrochemical lithium intercalation and de-intercalation of nanostrip V2O5 is investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV), galvanostatic charge-discharge cycling, galvanostatic intermittent titration technique (GITT) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Chapter III describes the synthesis of nanoparticels of LiMn2O4 by microwave assisted hydrothermal method. The phase and purity of spinel LiMn2O4 are confirmed by powder XRD analysis. The morphological studies are carried out using FE-SEM and HRTEM. The electrochemical performance of spinel LiMn2O4 is studied by using CV and galvanostatic charge-discharge cycling. The initial discharge capacity is found to be about 89 mAh g-1 at a current density of 21 mA g-1 with reasonably good cyclability. Chapter IV deals with synthesis of MoO2 nanoparticles through ethylene glycol medium and its electrochemical characterization. XRD data confirms the formation MoO2 on monoclinic phase, space group P21/c. Polygon shape of MoO2 is observed in HRTEM. MoO2 facilitates reversible insertion-extraction of Li+ ions between 0.25 to 3.0 V vs. Li/Li+. CV and galvanostatic charge-discharge cycling are conducted on this anode material to complement the electrochemical data. Chapter V reports the synthesis of nanostructured MnO2 at ambient conditions by reduction of potassium permanganate with aniline. Physical characterization is carried out to identify the phase and morphology. The as prepared MnO2 is amorphous and it contains particles of 5 to 10 nm in diameter. On annealing at a temperature > 400 °C, the amorphous MnO2 attains crystalline α-phase with a concomitant change in morphology. A gradual conversion of nanoparticles to nanorods (length 500-750 nm and diameter 50-100 nm) is evident from SEM and TEM studies. High resolution TEM images suggest that nanoparticles and nanorods grow in different crystallographic planes. The electrochemical lithium intercalation and de-intercalation of nanorods was performed by (CV) and galvanostatic charge-discharge cycling. The initial discharge capacity of nanorod α-MnO2 is found to be about 197 mAh g-1 at a current density of 13.0 mA g-1. Capacitance behavior of amorphous MnO2 is studied by CV and galvanostatic charge-discharge cycling in a potential range from -0.2 to 1.0 V vs. SCE in 0.1 M sodium sulphate solution. The effect of annealing on specific capacitance is also investigated. Specific capacitance of about 250 F g-1 is obtained for as prepared MnO2 at a current density of 0.5 mA cm-2 (0.8 A g-1). Chapter VI pertains to electrochemical supercapacitor studies on nanostructured MnO2 synthesized by polyol method. Although X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of the as synthesized nano-MnO2 shows poor crystallinity, it is found that it is locally arranged in δ-MnO2 type layered structure composed of edge-shared network of MnO6 octahedra by Mn K-edge X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) measurement. Annealed MnO2 shows high crystalline tunneled based α-MnO2 as confirmed by powder XRD pattern and XANES. As synthesized MnO2 exhibits good cyclability as an electrode material for supercapacitor. In Chapter VII, capacitance behavior of nanostrip V2O5, TiO2 coated V2O5 and nanocomposites of PEDOT/V2O5 are presented. Structural and morphological studies are carried out by powder XRD, IR, TGA, SEM and TEM. Cyclic voltammogram of pristine V2O5 shows the regular rectangular shape indicating the ideal capacitance behavior in aqueous 0.1 M K2SO4. The SC value of pristine V2O5 is found to be about 100 F g-1. Nanostrip V2O5 is modified with TiO2 using titanium isobutoxide to enhance the capacitance retention upon cycling. Only 48 % of the initial capacitance remains in the case of pristine V2O5 after 100 cycles, while TiO2 coated V2O5 exhibits better cyclability with capacitance of 70 % of the initial capacitance. The capacitance retention is attributed to the presence of TiO2 on the surface of V2O5 which prevents the vanadium dissolution into the electrolyte. Microwave assisted hydrothermally synthesized PEDOT/V2O5 nanocomposites are utilized as capacitor materials. The initial SC of PEDOT/V2O5 (237 F g-1) is higher than that of either pristine V2O5 or PEDOT. The enhanced electrochemical performance is attributed to synergic effect and an enhanced bi-dimensionality. Details of the above studies are described in the thesis with a conclusion at the end of each Chapter.