Lithium-ion battery cathode and anode materials

Released on Apr. 09, 2022

Lithium-ion battery cathode and anode materials

Each battery has two electrodes responsible for chemical reactions that provide energy. The electrode that emits electrons when the battery discharges is called the cathode. The electrode that absorbs the electrons emitted in the discharge is called the anode. In a battery, the cathode is always the negative and the anode is always the positive.

The anode and cathode of a lithium-ion battery are where lithium ions are stored. The electrolyte within the battery brings positively charged lithium ions from the cathode to the anode and vice versa during discharge and charge. This movement of lithium ions generates free electrons at the cathode, which in turn generates a positive charge at the positive current collector. Afterwards, current flows from the current collector to the negative current collector, operating the device in the process.

What materials are used for anode and cathode?


Lithium-ion batteries mostly use graphite as a material. The graphite used for the cathode is produced synthetically, called artificial graphite, or mined from the earth, called natural graphite. The graphite is then processed for use in copper foil, which is used as the cathode for lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium is used as the ionic salt dissolved in the electrolyte of lithium-ion batteries; however, lithium can also be used as a cathode material in some batteries.

In lithium-ion batteries, the cathode material must meet the following requirements.

The material should have good electrical conductivity and porosity.

Should be lightweight and durable.

Keeping batteries cheap has to be low cost.

The material must match the voltage of the battery's positive terminal.


When making anodes for lithium-ion batteries, there are a variety of materials to choose from. Materials used in lithium-ion battery anodes must be extremely pure and free of unwanted metallic impurities. The anode of a lithium-ion battery is a mixture of lithium and other metals. Li-ion battery cathode materials are well optimized, but anode materials still need to be improved, and today's research focuses on this specific area.

The anode of a lithium-ion battery has an active material. It is composed of cobalt, nickel, and manganese in a crystalline structure, forming a multi-metal oxide material. Lithium is then added to the mixture in a final step.

Why is Lithium a Good Choice for Battery Anodes?

When designing lithium-ion battery cathodes, the use of high-capacity materials is an important factor in design. That's why I choose alkali metals. In addition, materials used for lithium-ion battery anodes must have high energy content. Lithium is currently the most suitable cathode for lithium-ion batteries. This is almost any easy-to-handle alkaline material, handle with care. It is the lightest and most positively charged metal in the alkali metal family. Lithium also has the highest specific capacity value due to its low density.

These are perfect choices for using lithium as the anode material. Additionally, using lithium as the cathode has several advantages, which are as follows

Lithium is a good reducing agent.

Higher voltages can be obtained.

High energy density and electrochemically equivalent high capacity.

Lithium is a good conductive agent.

Lithium has excellent mechanical stability. Lithium is easy to manufacture and manufacture.

How to choose better anode and cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries?

Cathode material

The most common materials for lithium-ion battery anodes are those based on carbon and lithium alloys. To avoid safety issues, it is recommended to use the minimum potential plug electrodes. Elements present in this alloy reduce the reactivity of the intercalated lithium to the electrolyte. In addition, by using this alloy, the amount of lithium used in the battery is reduced, and on the contrary, it becomes safe. Less lithium means less reactivity and less fire hazard.

When choosing a lithium-ion battery cathode material, the material must have good electrical conductivity and porosity. Therefore, the graphite molecular structure is suitable for this situation and is the preferred choice. Durability and lightness are also required. Additionally, the material must be compatible with the anode voltage within the same cell.

Cost is also an important factor when choosing cathode materials. This material must be low cost. That way, manufacturers have low-cost batteries that can be easily marketed.

Anode material

The anode in a lithium-ion battery is the most active electrode in the battery. Anode materials are completely dependent on Li-ion batteries and their applications. Since the lithium metal of the negative electrode functions as a negative electrode, lithiation is not required. In a lithium ion battery, since lithium is not contained in the carbon electrode that functions as a negative electrode, the positive electrode (terminal) must function as a lithium source. Therefore, when choosing anode materials, the most common materials are:

Lithium Manganese Spinel (Li-Mn-O).

Lithium metal oxide.

Peridot (LiFePO4)).

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