Atomistic Phase Transition Mechanism of Zero-Strain Electrode Material: Transmission Electron Microscopy Investigation of Li4Ti5O12 Spinel Lattice Upon Lithiation

13 June 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The lithiation mechanism of electrode materials is important for understanding the basic reactions in Li-ion batteries. In particular, zero-strain materials have garnered interest owing to their stable charge–discharge performances. In this study, we investigated the atomistic phase transition mechanism of spinel Li4Ti5O12, a well-known zero-strain material, using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. A single-crystalline Li4Ti5O12 (100) specimen was prepared and observed in situ at a lattice resolution under electron beam-assisted lithiation. The lattice fringes originating from the Li plane of the spinel crystal were anisotropically altered during phase transition, suggesting the asymmetrical site shifting of Li atoms during lithiation. This spontaneous symmetry-breaking mechanism for the phase transition is considered essential for the lithiation of the spinel lattice.


lithium-ion batteries
negative electrode materials
transmission electron microscopy
phase transition mechanism


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