(202e) Lead Telluride (PbTe) As an Anode Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries Showing Fast Lithium Transport

Authors: 
Wood, S., University of Texas at Austin
Mullins, C. B., University of Texas at Austin
Klavetter, K., The University of Texas at Austin
Heller, A., University of Texas at Austin

The electrochemical behavior of lead telluride, PbTe, was studied for its potential use as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries. Its behavior was compared to that of lead oxide, PbO. During the reversible charging, similar lithium-lead alloys were formed for both materials. However in the PbTe system, Li2Te was present while these alloys were formed instead of Li2O. When the Li2Te was present, lithium and lead alloyed and dealloyed rapidly in the potential window 0.01 – 0.7 V. In an extended potential range of 0.8 – 2.5 V, lithium also reacted with tellurium to form and decompose Li2Te reversibly. During galvanostatic cycling, PbTe electrodes cycled stably in both potential domains for 100 cycles at a C/5 rate. The PbO electrodes cycled poorly over 100 cycles at a slower C/10 rate. The PbTe electrodes were also tested at faster rates up to 10C (charging and discharging in only 6 minutes each) and performed stably. As seen from the differential capacity profiles and the Galvanostatic Intermittent Titration Technique results, the presence of Li2Te reduced the overpotentials required to charge and discharge the batteries at higher rates by acting as a superionic conductor and improving lithium ion diffusion. Because of the results seen in this material, it could potentially be useful in low-power applications such as cell phones.