In Situ Probing Potassium-ion Intercalation-induced Amorphization in Crystalline Iron Phosphate Cathode Materials

19 May 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Na-ion and K-ion batteries are promising alternatives for large-scale energy storage applications due to their abundancy and lower cost. However, designing an electrode structure to reversibly accommodate these large alkali-ions is the remaining challenge before their commercialization. Intercalation of these large ions could cause irreversible structural deformations and amorphization in the crystalline electrodes. The designing of new amorphous electrodes is another route to develop electrodes to store these ions reversibly. Lack of understanding of dynamic changes in the amorphous nanostructures during battery operation is the bottleneck for further developments. Here, we report the utilization of in situ digital image correlation and in-operando X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques to probe dynamic changes in the amorphous phase of iron phosphate during potassium intercalation. In-operando XRD demonstrates amorphization in the electrode’s nanostructure during the first charge / discharge cycle. In situ strain analysis detects the reversible deformations associated with redox reactions in the amorphous phases. This method offers new insights to study mechanics of ion intercalation in the amorphous nanostructures.


phase transformation
iron phosphate
K-ion batteries
x-ray diffraction
electrochemical strains

Supplementary materials

KFP Study Supporting ChemRxiv


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