Computational Studies of Nanotube Growth, Nanoclusters and Cathode Materials for Batteries

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Density functional theory has been used to investigate cathode materials for rechargeable batteries, carbon nanotube interactions with catalyst particles and transition metal catalyzed hydrogen release in magnesium hydride nanoclusters.An effort has been made to the understand structural and electrochemical properties of lithium iron silicate (Li2FeSiO4) and its manganese-doped analogue. Starting from the X-ray measurements, the crystal structure of Li2FeSiO4 was refined, and several metastable phases of partially delithiated Li2FeSiO4 were identified. There are signs that manganese doping leads to structural instability and that lithium extraction beyond 50% capacity only occurs at impractically high potentials in the new material.The chemical interaction energies of single-walled carbon nanotubes and nanoclusters were calculated. It is found that the interaction needs to be strong enough to compete with the energy gained by detaching the nanotubes and forming closed ends with carbon caps. This represents a new criterion for determining catalyst metal suitability. The stability of isolated carbon nanotube fragments were also studied, and it is argued that chirality selection during growth is best achieved by exploiting the much wider energy span of open-ended carbon nanotube fragments.Magnesium hydride nanoclusters were doped with transition metals Ti, V, Fe, and Ni. The resulting changes in hydrogen desorption energies from the surface were calculated, and the associated changes in the cluster structures reveal that the transition metals not only lower the desorption energy of hydrogen, but also seem to work as proposed in the gateway hypothesis of transition metal catalysis.