Irreversible Anion Oxidation Leads to Dynamic Charge Compensation in the Ru-Poor, Li-Rich Cathode Li2Ru0.3Mn0.7O3
Conventional cathodes for Li-ion batteries are layered transition-metal oxides that support Li+ intercalation charge-balanced by redox on the transition metals. Oxidation beyond one electron per transition metal can be achieved in Li-rich layered oxides by involving structural anions, which necessitates high voltages and complex charge compensation mechanisms convoluted by degradation reactions. We report a detailed structural and spectroscopic analysis of the multielectron material Li2Ru0.3Mn0.7O3, chosen due to its low Ru content. Ex situ and operando spectroscopic data over multiple cycles highlight the changing charge compensation mechanism. Notably, over half of the first-cycle capacity is attributed to O2 gas evolution and reversible O redox is minimal. Instead, reduced Ru and Mn species are detected in the bulk and on the surface, which then increasingly contribute to charge compensation as more metal reduction occurs with cycling. Permanent structural changes linked to metal migration are observed with EXAFS and Raman analysis.