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Molecular Dynamics Study of Lithium Diffusion in Lithium-Manganese Spinel Cathode Materials

  • Randall T. Cygan (a1), Henry R. Westrich (a1) and Daniel H. Doughty (a2)

Abstract

A series of molecular dynamics computer simulations of the self-diffusion of lithium in pure and several doped lithium-manganese spinel materials has been completed. The theoretical approach is part of an effort to understand the mechanisms and rates of lithium diffusion, and to evaluate the structural control of the cathode materials upon lithium intercalation (charge-discharge) process. The molecular dynamics approach employs a fully ionic forcefield that accounts for electrostatic, repulsive, and dispersion interactions among all ions. A reference unit cell comprised of 56 ions (Li8Mn3+ 8Mn4+ 8O32) is used to perform the simulations under constant volume and constant pressure constraints. All atomic positions are allowed to vary during the simulation. Simulations were completed for the undoped and doped LiMn2O4 at various levels of lithium content (based on the number of lithium ions per unit cell and manganese oxidation state). The molecular dynamics results indicate an activation energy of approximately 97 kJ/mole for self-diffusion of lithium in the undoped material. Lithium ion trajectories from the simulations provide diffusion coefficients that decrease by a factor of ten as the cathode accumulates lithium ions during discharge. Molecular dynamics results for the doped spinel suggest a decrease in the diffusion rate with increasing dopant ion.

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Molecular Dynamics Study of Lithium Diffusion in Lithium-Manganese Spinel Cathode Materials

  • Randall T. Cygan (a1), Henry R. Westrich (a1) and Daniel H. Doughty (a2)

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