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Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) find widespread use for electricity storage, from portable devices such as smart phones to electric vehicles (EV), because of their high energy density and design flexibility. However, limited lifetime is still a challenge for several LIB materials. Specifically, the detailed coupling between degradation mechanisms and battery usage is not fully understood, which impede lifetime improvements. To understand the degradation mechanisms and increase the performance of these materials, the development of improved characterization methods is crucial. This PhD thesis focuses on the thorough analysis of degradation mechanism in LIBs, trying to relate morphological and structural changes in Lithium-ion battery electrodes to performance degradation observed during electrode cycling. Degradation mechanisms in laboratory scale LFP cathodes were correlated with the degradation mechanisms observed in commercial LIBs. The structural and morphological changes in cycled laboratory LFP cathodes were studied by low-kV FIB/SEM Tomography and TEM analysis and related to the electrode performance using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). The two main degradation processes observed by microscopy analysis in the aged electrode were cracking of LFP particles and agglomeration of carbon black (CB) additive. The increased heterogeneity of the CBnetwork reduces the electron percolation throughout the porous electrode, thereby decreasing the amount of electrochemically active LFP particles. The electron resistivity was quantified with the EIS analysis using a Transmission Line Model (TLM) developedfor porous LFP electrodes. Similar TLM models were applied for the analysis of the polarization processes in a commercial LFP and graphite electrodes. The microscopy analysis of the electrodes showed the presence of carbonaceous agglomerates on the electrode/electrolyte interfaces. The agglomerates are expected to increase the ionic resistance and be related to of loss of lithium inventory (LLI).
|Place of Publication||Risø, Denmark|
|Publisher||Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark|
|Number of pages||203|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|