Negative (Anode) & Positive (Cathode) Electrode Materials for Lithium Batteries
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Tables 1786a and 1786b list negative (anode) and positive (cathode) electrode materials for disposable (primary) lithium batteries, rechargeable (secondary) lithium ion batteries, and rechargeable lithium titanate batteries. These materials are normally applied to all the types of lithium batteries if they are not specially noted. In general, disposable lithium batteries have lithium metal or lithium compounds as the negative electrodes. Rechargeable lithium ion batteries use intercalated lithium compounds as the electrode materials. Lithium titanate batteries are modified lithium-ion batteries that employ lithium titanate nanocrystals on the surfaces on the negative electrodes.

The essential requirements for negative electrode materials are that the materials should have small volume expansion and stress during charging/discharging process, high electronic conductivity, low irreversible capacity loss during the first charging cycle or intercalation process, stable under wide operating temperatures in a highly reducing environment, and low specific surface area for optimal performance and safety.

Table 1786a. Negative (anode) electrode materials for lithium batteries (assuming the host material is lithium-free).

Negative electrode material Molecular weight Density (g·cm-3) Gravimetric capacity (mAh•g-l) Volumetric capacity (mAh•cm-3) Applications Remarks Advantages Disadvantages Reference/Main manufacturer
Carbon (primarily natural or man-made graphite)     372   The dominant anode material used in lithium ion batteries. Commercialized Long cycle life, abundant, low cost and good energy density. Relatively low energy density; inefficiencies due to solid electrolyte interface formation  
Hard Carbon         Consumer electronics   Great storage capacity   Energ2
Li (lithium) 6.94 0.53 3862 2047 Disposable        
LiC6 (graphite) 79.00 2.24 339 759          
LiAl 33.92 1.75 790 1383          
Li21Sn5 739 2.55 761 1941          
LiWO2 222.79 11.3 120 1356          
LiMoO2 134.9 6.06 199 1206          
Li2TiO3 (lithium titanate)                  
Li4Ti5O12(lithium titanate, LTO)     175   Automotive, electrical grid,
bus, operating temperature −50–70 °C
Commercialized "Zero strain" material, good cycling & efficiencies High voltage, low capacity (low energy density) Toshiba,
LiTiS2 118.94 3.06 225 689          
Silicon/Carbon       580 Smartphones, providing
1850 mA·h capacity
Tin-based oxides/C composite                 [1]
        Consumer electronics (Sony Nexelion battery)   Larger capacity than a cell with graphite (3.5 Ah 18650-type battery)   Sony
TiO2 Nanoribbons                 [2]

Table 1786b. Positive (cathode) electrode materials (lithium metal oxide powders) for lithium batteries.

Positive electrode material Crystal structure Space group Specific capacity (mAh•g-l) Cycle performance

Energy density (Wh/kg)

Preparation Applications Remarks Advantages Disadvantages Main manufacturer Reference
FeF2/C                 High electrode capacity due to two or more electrons transfer     [5, 6]
FeOF/C nanocomposites                     [4 - 6]
NCA (Nickel / Cobalt / Alum) 160 JCI/Saft, PEVE, AESC
Li2Mn2O4 Twice the energy density of LiMn2O4
LiMn2O4 (lithium manganese oxide) 100–120 Unstable Low, 150 Easy and cheap Hybrid electric vehicle, cell
phone, laptop
Commercialized Low cost, abundance of Mn, high voltage, moderate safety, good durability, excellent rate performance Limited cycle life, low capacity NEC, Hitachi,
Nissan/AESC, EnerDel, Hitachi, AESC, Sanyo, GS Yuasa, LG Chem, Samsung, Toshiba, Enerl, SK Corp, Altairnano
Li 2Mn2O4 Tetragonal
LiCoO2 (lithium cobalt oxide) 140 Good Simple Most commonly used, commercialized Cost & resource limitations of Co, low capacity [3]
LiNiO2 (lithium nickel oxide) Unstable Difficult Not widely used
Lithium Nickel Manganese
Cobalt Oxide ("NMC",
                Density, output, safety   Imara Corporation, Nissan Motor, Microvast Inc  
LiNiMnCoO2 150 Conventionally used PEVE, Hitachi, Sanyo, LG Chem, Samsung, Enerl, Evonik, GS Yuasa
LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2 180–200 Commercialized High capacity & voltage, excellent rate performance Safety, cost & resource limitations of Ni and Co
LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 160–170 Commercialized High voltage, moderate safety Cost & resource limitations of Ni and Co
Oxygen ("Li-Air")             Automotive   Energy density: up to 10,000
mA·h per gram of positive
electrode material.
  IBM, Polyplus  
LiFePO4  (lithium iron phosphate) Orthorhombic Pbnm 170 140 Segway Personal Transporter,
power tools, aviation products,
automotive hybrid systems,
PHEV conversions
Commercialized Excellent safety, cycling, & rate capability, low cost & abundance of Fe, low toxicity, moderate density (2 A·h outputs 70 amperes) operating
temperature >60 °C
Low voltage & capacity, low energy density A123, BYD, GS Yuasa, JCI/Saft, Valence, Lishen, University of Texas/ Hydro-Québec,
Phostech Lithium Inc., Valence Technology, A123Systems/MIT





[1] J. Fan, T. Wang, C. Yu, B. Tu, Z. Jiang, D. Zhao, Ordered, Nanostructured Tin-Based Oxides/Carbon Composite as the Negative-Electrode Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries, 16 (16), 1432–1436 (2004).
[2] Thomas Beuvier, Mireille Richard-Plouet, Maryline Mancini-Le Granvalet, Thierry Brousse, Olivier Crosnier, and Luc Brohan, TiO2(B) Nanoribbons As Negative Electrode Material for Lithium Ion Batteries with High Rate Performance, Inorg. Chem., 2010, 49 (18), 8457–8464.
[3] Mizushima, K.; Jones, P. C.; Wiseman, P. J.; Goodenough, J. B., Mater. Res. Bull., 1980, 15, 783.
[4] F. Cosandey, Analysis of Li-Ion Battery Materials by Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy, Microscopy: Science, Technology, Applications and Education, A. Méndez-Vilas and J. Díaz (Eds.), 1662, (2010).
[5] Badway F, Cosandey F, Pereira N, Amatucci GG, Carbon metal fluoride nanocoposites; High-capacity reversible metal fluoride converssion materials as rechargeable positive electrodes for Li batteries, J. of the Electrochemical Society, 2003; 150 (10): A1318-1327.
[6] Amatucci GG, Pereira N, Fluoride based electrode materials for advanced energy storage devices, J. Of Fluorine Chemistry, 2007; 128; 243-262.