The reaction of inorganic cathodes in lithium batteries can occur by two major mechanisms, displacement or insertion. At ambient temperatures the latter tend to show varying degrees of reversibility whereas the former tend to be irreversible. This paper discusses the critical roles that thermodynamics and crystal structure play in the reaction path and hence the reversibility of lithium reactions. Emphasis is placed on the titanium sulfides, vanadium diselenide and the molybdenum sulfides. © 1981 Elsevier Sequoia S.A.
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