Nano-confined Amorphous Solid-Oxidant Cathodes for Next-Generation Lithium Ion Battery

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Schematic of Co3O4 skeleton wetted by amorphous Li2O/Li2O2/LiO2, the arrows indicate the diffusion paths of electrons and Li ionsTransmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the nanocomposite Li2O and Co3O4 powder, the circled area is a representative structure of amorphous Li2O confined within the Co3O4 skeleton. The inset is the selected-area electron diffraction pattern (SAED).
Professor Ju Li
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
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Zhi Zhu
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
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Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Patent Protection

Solid Oxygen-Redox Nanocomposite Materials

Provisional Patent Application Filed

Nano-Confined Amorphous Solid-Oxidant Cathodes for Next-Generation Lithium Ion Battery

PCT Patent Application Filed
Anion-redox nanolithia cathodes for Li-ion batteries
Nature Energy, July 25, 2016, Article: 16111


Nano-confined amorphous solid-oxidant cathodes improve lithium battery performance primarily by increasing the number of lithium ion sites on the cathode. Lithium batteries have applications ranging from portable electronics to electric vehicles.

Problem Addressed

Traditional crystalline oxide cathodes, such as LiCoO­2+, LiMn2O4, and LiFePO4, etc., have low practical capacity (<200 mAhg-1) and cannot satisfy the demands of the increasing capacity of lithium ion batteries. Li2S nanoparticles synthesized and dispersed on reduced graphene oxide cathode paper for a high-performance lithium sulfur battery achieve a high reversible capacity of 597mAhg-1 at a high rate of 7C, which proves that Nanosized Amorphous Solid-Oxidant Cathodes (NASOCs) can improve rate capability and lower over-potential.


These anodes can be composed of several different materials including unencapsulated amorphous Ca(ClO)2 or nanolithia (Li2O/LiO2) encapsulated by Co3O. The advantage of these amorphous structures is that they have more sites to accommodate Li ions than traditional crystalline electrodes.  The number of Li ion sites is directly related to the electrode's capacity; therefore, the increased number of Li ion sites increases the battery's overall capacity.  NASOCs are also self-contained without need to exchange oxygen with the outside (only lithium goes in and out), which makes them more stable and reliable. These cathodes also have a lower overpotential (0.25V compared to 1V) - potential difference between charging and discharging - which reduces heat emitted by the battery. 


  • Improves reliability and charging time
  • Increases battery voltage and capacity