WEB Structural and Magnetic Characterization of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles upon Chemical Lithiation
The spinel transition metal oxide Fe3O4 (magnetite) is an interesting candidate for electrode material in lithium ion batteries as it can store up to eight Li ions per formula unit, which leads to a high theoretical capacity of 926 mAh/g  Also, it has a low cost, high abundance and low toxicity . However, the densely packed inverse spinel structure of magnetite causes solid-state mass transfer resistances that leads to poor active material utilization . Therefore, the use of nanoscale is crucial to investigate as it will provide larger surface area/volume ratios that will give more pathways and reduction of path length for Li-ion movement . Here, in this study, we explore chemical lithiation of nanosized magnetite particles at different sizes with different degrees of lithiation. We have used synchrotron X-ray diffraction to understand the structural changes as a function of degree of lithiation. Moreover, the lithiation changes the magnetic state of magnetite from ferrimagnetic to antiferromagnetic which enables probing the amount of lithiation using magnetometry.