Mild chemical H-insertion into γ-manganese dioxides
About a hundred samples of y-manganese dioxide covering three materials coded SBP- A, Faradiser M and R2 have been reduced chemically by insertion of H through controlled additions of hydrazine hydrate solutions at about 1 °C. The H-inserted samples and the starting materials were subjected to chemical analysis for oxidation state, X-ray diffraction (XRD) for structure study and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to gain information on OH bonding. Additional techniques including FTIR spectroscopy at low temperature (~ -180 °C), electrode potential measurement and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have also been applied. The intergrowth structure of the starting materials consisted of ramsdellite intercepted with pyrolusite layers, known as de Wolff faults, and quantified by the fraction of pyrolusite layers Pr. An additional structural parameter for these materials was the amount of micro twinning (Tw) across the 021/061 ramsdellite planes. This parameter, introduced by Pannetier, is given in percent. Values of (Pr , Tw) have been given as (0.41 , 17) for SBP-A, (0.70,10) for Faradiser M and (0.41, ~100) for R2. Upon H-insertion, the structure of the starting materials expanded homogeneously in a direction and to an extent which depended on the Pr and Tw parameters. Faradiser M, with high Pr and very low Tw, expanded homogeneously in the direction of the b lattice dimension up to an insertion level of 0.69 of s in MnOn/Hs. Above this level, the initial structure changed suddenly into the structure of the final product: the insertion then proceeded homogeneously in the new phase. The main changes were an expansion of the octahedra and a rotation leading to hinged tunnels. This is the first time that the existence of two solid solutions in the MnO2/H system has been noted. With SBP-A, the amount of microtwinning restricted the homogeneous expansion of SBP-A to s = 0.28, which occurred predominantly in the a direction. Further insertion broke the twinning boundary and formed a demicrotwinned phase of composition MnOn Ho.68 in which the tunnels were also hinged. Thereafter H-insertion proceeded heterogeneously from 0.28 to 0.68 in s. Above s = 0.68, the structure developed homogeneously towards that of the fully H-inserted product. The extensive microtwinning in R2 allowed for a homogeneous expansion, thought to be isotropic to maintain the microtwinned structure, up to s = 0.39. Higher insertion levels led to the expansion to proceed heterogeneously to a composition of MnOn Ho.63. Above s = 0.63, a new phase, the final product, was formed with fully demicrotwinned structure and fully hinged tunnels. R-insertion into y-manganese dioxide has never been reported to occur in three stages previously. The FTIR study at room temperature has shown absence of OH bond vibrations at insertion levels prior to the hinging of the tunnels, in contrast to their presence after the structure has rotated and the tunnels had hinged. This is seen as a strong indication of H mobility in the initial structure. The hinging is necessary for OH bonding as it brings the 02 and 01 oxygens closer allowing the proton to bond both covalently and by H-bonding. At low temperature, initially mobile hydrogen could be trapped and OR bonds formed only in H-inserted R2. This was linked to 061-microtwinning. The absence of OH bonds at low temperature in SBP-A and Faradiser M led to the conclusion that these materials have no 061 micro twinning faults. The absence of OH bonds at low temperature in the starting materials, particularly in R2, strongly questions the postulated OH groups in the structure of y-MnO2, according to the cation vacancy model. Electrode potential data supported the above conclusions in terms of the stages of the H-insertion. The battery activity of the materials seemed to be related to the extent at which the materials kept the initial structure with non-hinged tunnels. Comparison with previous works on the same materials suggested that the differences could be accounted for by the kinetics of the H-insertion. While protons in this work were released spontaneously on the surface of the MnO x , their diffusion into the bulk was slow due to the low temperature. In the compared literature, the reverse applies.