Operando video microscopy of Li plating and re-intercalation on graphite anodes during fast charging†
Despite the demand for fast-charging lithium (Li)-ion batteries, high-energy-density batteries with thick graphite anodes are limited by Li plating when charging at >4C rates. In this work, plan-view operando video microscopy is applied on >3 mA h cm−2 calendared graphite electrodes to study the dynamic evolution of local state-of-charge (SoC) and Li plating during fast charging. This technique allows for visualization of the spatial heterogeneity in SoC across the electrode, nucleation and growth of Li filaments, Li re-intercalation into graphite, “dead Li” formation, and SoC equilibration. The operando microscopy analysis is complemented by ex situ imaging of through-plane gradients in SoC to gain a three-dimensional visualization of spatial heterogeneity. We demonstrate that (1) Li plating preferentially nucleates on the graphite particles that lithiate fastest during fast charging; (2) the onset of Li plating correlates with the local minimum of the graphite electrode potential; (3) galvanic corrosion currents are responsible for Li re-intercalation, dead Li formation, and SoC re-equilibration after fast charging; and (4) electrochemical signatures during OCV rest or discharge are associated with Li re-intercalation into graphite. This work provides insight into the Li–graphite interactions at the composite electrode level and can be used to inform strategies to diagnose and mitigate Li plating during fast charging.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers and 2021 Journal of Materials Chemistry A most popular articles