An Innovative Insight into Performance Degradation of NCM111 Cathode Induced by Suspension of Operation

Binghao ZHANG, He ZHU, Yang REN, Hekang ZHU, Weitong LIN, Ji-Jung KAI, Tianyi LI, Leighanne C. GALLINGTON, Jincan REN, Yalan HUANG, Si LAN, Xiaopeng TANG*, Qi LIU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The lifespan of lithium-ion batteries varies enormously from fundamental study to practical applications. This big difference has been typically ascribed to the high degree of uncertainty in unpredictable and complicated operation conditions in real-life applications. Here, we report that the pause of the charging-discharging process, which is frequently operated in practice but rarely studied in academics, is an important reason for the performance degradation of the NCM111 cathode. It is found that the pause during cycling could trigger a remarkable drop in capacity, giving rise to ∼30% more capacity decay compared with the continuously cycled sample. In situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction analysis reveals that the harmful H1-H2 phase transition, which typically appears in the initial cycle but disappears in subsequent cycles, is reactivated by the pausing process. The anisotropic lattice strains that occur during the H1-H2 transition result in mechanical fractures that terminate with an inert NiO-type rock-salt phase on the surface of particles. The present study indicates that the discontinuous usage of rechargeable batteries is also a key factor for cycle life, which might provide a distinct perspective on the performance decay in practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6612-6620
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2020YFA0406203), the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission (JCYJ20180507181806316, JCYJ20200109105618137), the ECS scheme (CityU 21307019), 7005500, 7005612, 7020043, and the Shenzhen Research Institute, City University of Hong Kong. This research also used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under contract no. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.


  • capacity fading
  • H1−H2 phase transition
  • in situ synchrotron XRD
  • mechanism study
  • microcracking
  • NCM cathode
  • practical application


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