The High Performance of Crystal Water Containing Manganese Birnessite Cathodes for Magnesium Batteries

Kwan Woo Nam, Sangryun Kim, Soyeon Lee, Michael Salama, Ivgeni Shterenberg, Yossi Gofer, Joo Seong Kim, Eunjeong Yang, Chan Sun Park, Ju Sik Kim, Seok Soo Lee, Won Seok Chang, Seok Gwang Doo, Yong Nam Jo, Yousung Jung, Doron Aurbach, Jang Wook Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

393 Scopus citations


Rechargeable magnesium batteries have lately received great attention for large-scale energy storage systems due to their high volumetric capacities, low materials cost, and safe characteristic. However, the bivalency of Mg2+ ions has made it challenging to find cathode materials operating at high voltages with decent (de)intercalation kinetics. In an effort to overcome this challenge, we adopt an unconventional approach of engaging crystal water in the layered structure of Birnessite MnO2 because the crystal water can effectively screen electrostatic interactions between Mg2+ ions and the host anions. The crucial role of the crystal water was revealed by directly visualizing its presence and dynamic rearrangement using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Moreover, the importance of lowering desolvation energy penalty at the cathode-electrolyte interface was elucidated by working with water containing nonaqueous electrolytes. In aqueous electrolytes, the decreased interfacial energy penalty by hydration of Mg2+ allows Birnessite MnO2 to achieve a large reversible capacity (231.1 mAh g-1) at high operating voltage (2.8 V vs Mg/Mg2+) with excellent cycle life (62.5% retention after 10000 cycles), unveiling the importance of effective charge shielding in the host and facile Mg2+ ions transfer through the cathode's interface. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4071-4079
Number of pages9
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • aqueous batteries
  • Birnessite
  • charge screening
  • crystal water
  • Magnesium batteries


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