Unraveling the Nature of Anomalously Fast Energy Storage in T-Nb2O5

Dongchang Chen, Jeng Han Wang, Tsung Fu Chou, Bote Zhao, Mostafa A. El-Sayed, Meilin Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Citations (Scopus)


While T-Nb2O5 has been frequently reported to display an exceptionally fast rate of Li-ion storage (similar to a capacitor), the detailed mechanism of the energy storage process is yet to be unraveled. Here we report our findings in probing the nature of the ultrafast Li-ion storage in T-Nb2O5 using both experimental and computational approaches. Experimentally, we used in operando Raman spectroscopy performed on a well-designed model cell to systematically characterize the dynamic evolution of vibrational band groups of T-Nb2O5 upon insertion and extraction of Li ions during repeated cycling. Theoretically, our model shows that Li ions are located at the loosely packed 4g atomic layers and prefer to form bridging coordination with the oxygens in the densely packed 4h atomic layers. The atomic arrangement of T-Nb2O5 determines the unique Li-ion diffusion path topologies, which allow direct Li-ion transport between bridging sites with very low steric hindrance. The proposed model was validated by computational and experimental vibrational analyses. A comprehensive comparison between T-Nb2O5 and other important intercalation-type Li-ion battery materials reveals the key structural features that lead to the exceptionally fast kinetics of T-Nb2O5 and the cruciality of atomic arrangements for designing a new generation of Li-ion conduction and storage materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7071-7081
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 24

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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