Germanium nitride (Ge3N4) was examined as a potential negative electrode material for Li-ion batteries. The electrochemistry of Ge3N4 versus Li showed high reversible capacity (500mAh/g) and good capacity retention during cycling. A combination of ex-situ and in-situ x-ray diffraction (XRD), ex-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and ex-situ selective area electron diffraction (SAED) analyses revealed evidence supporting the conversion of a layer of Ge3N4 crystal into an amorphous Li3N+LixGe nanocomposite during the first lithiation. The nanocomposite was electrochemically active via a reversible Li-Ge alloying reaction while a core of unreacted Ge3N4 crystal remained inactive. The lithium/metal nitride conversion reaction process was kinetically hindered resulting in limited capacity. Mechanical milling was found to improve the material capacity.
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Pereira, N., Balasubramanian, M., Dupont, L. et al. The Electrochemistry of Germanium Nitride Versus Lithium. MRS Online Proceedings Library 756, 82 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-756-EE8.2