Processes are provided for making dense, spherical mixed-metal carbonate or phosphate precursors that are particularly well suited for the production of active materials for electrochemical devices such as lithium ion secondary batteries. Exemplified methods include precipitating dense, spherical particles of metal carbonates or metal phosphates from a combined aqueous solution using a precipitating agent such as ammonium hydrogen carbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, or a mixture that includes sodium hydrogen carbonate. Other exemplified methods include precipitating dense, spherical particles of metal phosphates using a precipitating agent such as ammonium hydrogen phosphate, ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, sodium phosphate, sodium hydrogen phosphate, sodium dihydrogen phosphate, or a mixture of any two or more thereof. Further provided are compositions of and methods of making dense, spherical metal oxides and metal phosphates using the dense, spherical metal precursors. Still further provided are electrodes and batteries using the same.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.