Direct observation of antisite defects in LiCoPO4 cathode materials by annular dark- and bright-field electron microscopy

Quang Duc Truong, Murukanahally Kempaiah Devaraju, Takaaki Tomai, Itaru Honma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


LiCoPO4 cathode materials have been synthesized by a sol-gel route. X-ray diffraction analysis confirmed that LiCoPO4 was well-crystallized in an orthorhombic structure in the Pmna space group. From the high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) image, the lattice fringes of {001} and {100} are well-resolved. The HR-TEM image and selected area electron diffraction pattern reveal the highly crystalline nature of LiCoPO4 having an ordered olivine structure. The atom-by-atom structure of LiCoPO4 olivine has been observed, for the first time, using high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) and annual bright-field scanning transmission electron microscopy. We observed the bright contrast in Li columns in the HAADF images and strong contrast in the ABF images, directly indicating the antisite exchange defects in which Co atoms partly occupy the Li sites. The LiCoPO4 cathode materials delivered an initial discharge capacity of 117 mAh/g at a C/10 rate with moderate cyclic performance. The discharge profile of LiCoPO4 shows a plateau at 4.75 V, revealing its importance as a potentially high-voltage cathode. The direct visualization of atom-by-atom structure in this work represents important information for the understanding of the structure of the active cathode materials for Li-ion batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9926-9932
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov 6


  • ABF
  • LiCoPO
  • antisite defects
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • scanning transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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