Insights into capacity loss mechanisms of all-solid-state Li-ion batteries with Al anodes
The atomistic mechanism for lithiation/delithiation in all-solid-state batteries is still an open question, and the ‘holy grail’ to engineer devices with extended lifetime. Here, by combining real-time scanning electron microscopy in ultra-high vacuum with electrochemical cycling, we quantify the dynamic degradation of Al anodes in Li-ion all-solid-state batteries, a promising alternative for ultra lightweight devices. We find that AlLi alloy mounds are formed on the top surface of the Al anode and that degradation of battery capacity occurs because of Li trapped in them. Our approach establishes a new platform for probing the real-time degradation of electrodes, and can be expanded to other complex systems, allowing for high throughput characterization of batteries with nanoscale resolution.