Atomic resolution observation of conversion-type anode RuO 2 during the first electrochemical lithiation

Minmin Mao, Anmin Nie, Jiabin Liu, Hongtao Wang, Scott X Mao, Qingxiao Wang, Kun Li, Xixiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Transition metal oxides have attracted great interest as alternative anode materials for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Among them, ruthenium dioxide is considered to be a prototype material that reacts with the Li ions in the conversion type. In situ transmission electron microscopy reveals a two-step process during the initial lithiation of the RuO2 nanowire anode at atomic resolution. The first step is characterized by the formation of the intermediate phase LixRuO2 due to the Li-ion intercalation. The following step is manifested by the solid-state amorphization reaction driven by advancing the reaction front. The crystalline/amorphous interface is consisted of {011} atomic terraces, revealing the orientation-dependent mobility. In the crystalline matrix, lattice disturbance and dislocation are identified to be two major stress-induced distortions. The latter can be effective diffusion channels, facilitating transportation of the Li ions inside the bulk RuO2 crystal and further resulting in non-uniform Li-ion distribution. It is expected that the local enrichment of the Li ions may account for the homogeneous nucleation of dislocations in the bulk RuO2 crystal and the special island-like structures. These results elucidate the structural evolution and the phase transformation during electrochemical cycling, which sheds light on engineering RuO2 anode materials.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125404
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 5 2015


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