Electrochemical performances of a high-capacity and long life β
core-shell structured Ni0.84
as the positive electrode active material were tested in a pouch design and compared to those of a standard β
. The core-shell materials were fabricated with a continuous co-precipitation process, which created an Al-poor core and an Al-rich shell during the nucleation and particle growth stages, respectively. The Al-rich shell became α
after electrical activation and remained intact through the cycling. Pouch cells with the high-capacity β
core-shell positive electrode material show higher charge acceptances and discharge capacities at 0.1C, 0.2C, 0.5C, and 1C, improved self-discharge performances, and reduced internal and surface charge-transfer resistances, at both room temperature and −10 °C when compared to those with the standard positive electrode material. While the high capacity of the core-shell material can be attributed to the α
phase with a multi-electron transfer capability, the improvement in high-rate capability (lower resistance) is caused by the unique surface morphology and abundant interface sites at the β
grain boundaries. Gravimetric energy densities of pouch cells made with the high-capacity and standard positive materials are 127 and 110 Wh·kg−1
, respectively. A further improvement in capacity is expected via the continued optimization of pouch design and the use of high-capacity metal hydride alloy.
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