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SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences, Volume 62 , Issue 8 : 1277-1296(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11431-018-9485-6

Electrochemomechanical coupled behaviors of deformation and failure in electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries

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  • ReceivedDec 20, 2018
  • AcceptedMar 6, 2019
  • PublishedJul 11, 2019

Abstract

The growing demands of lithium-ion batteries with high energy density motivate the development of high-capacity electrode materials. The critical issue in the commercial application of these electrodes is electrochemomechanical degradation accompanied with the large volume change, built-in stress, and fracture during lithiation and delithiation. The strong and complex couplings between mechanics and electrochemistry have been extensively studied in recent years. The multi-directional couplings, e.g., (de)lithiation-induced effects and stress-regulated effects, require cooperation in the interdisciplinary fields and advance the theoretical and computational models. In this review, we focus on the recent work with topics in the electrochemomechanical couplings of deformation and fracture of conventional and alloying electrodes through experimental characterization, theoretical and computational models. Based on the point of view from mechanics, the strategies for alleviating the degradation are also discussed, with particular perspectives for component-interaction patterns in the composite electrodes. With interdisciplinary principles, comprehensive understanding of the electrochemomechanical coupled mechanism is expected to provide feasible solutions for low-cost, high-capacity, high-safety and durable electrodes for lithium-ion batteries.


Funded by

the National Key R&D Program of China(Grant,No.,2018YFB0104400)

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Grant,Nos.,11672341,11572002)

the Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Grant,No.,11521202)

and the National Materials Genome Project(Grant,No.,2016YFB0700600)


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFB0104400), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11672341, 11572002), the Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11521202), and the National Materials Genome Project (Grant No. 2016YFB0700600).


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) Degradation mechanisms of electrode particles under two-way coupling. (a) The lithiation-induced effects, such as volume change, fracture, debonding at the particle/binder interface and electric contact loss; (b) the stress-regulated effects, where (b1) the compressive stress can retard further lithiation and (b2) the force generated by constraints breaks the uniform lithiation because the stress facilitates lithium insertion, while compressive stress impedes lithiation.

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) The experimental observations of deformation and fracture of electrodes. (a) The formation of cracks in the LiFePO4 electrode during cyclings [13]; (b) LiCoO2 particles from a cycled positive electrode showing microfracture (arrows) [14]; (c) LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 after 100 cycles at 4.7 V cutoff voltages showing intragranular cracks (yellow arrows) [26]; (d) graphite electrode showing the presence of cracks [27]; (e)–(g) the time sequence of fast crack initiation and growth of a Si nanoparticle [6]; (h) the crack pattern of 500 nm thick Si film after 5 cycles [8].

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) Lithiation-induced effects. (a) The stress evolution with capacity for Si thin-film electrode [46]; (b) the Li-ion concentration-dependent elastic modulus and (c) hardness of Si evaluated by nanoindentation in open circuit (O.C.) and under various charging rates [19]; (d) the elastic modulus evolution and (e) hardness versus charge duration for LixCoO2 electrode [69]; (f) schematic of creep behavior for lithiated and a-Si electrodes, adapted from ref. [56].

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Bending force breaks the lithiation symmetry of GeNWs [15]. (a) The time sequence of morphological change of GeNWs with applied bending force during lithiation obtained by in situ TEM. The distribution of Li ion concentration (b) and the corresponding stress evolution (c) obtained by FEM modeling.

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) (a) The boundaries conditions of edge free lithiation and crack crush lithiation; (b) debonding mechanisms for both two conditions on the atomic scale. The normal stress and shear stress for edge free lithiation (c) and crack crush lithiation (d). The stress evolution at the right bottom point for edge free lithiation (e) and crack crush lithiation (f) [122].

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) (a) The fracture toughness versus charge duration for LixCoO2 electrode [69]; (b) the fracture toughness & fracture energy versus Li ion concentration for Si electrode [127].

  • Figure 7

    (Color online) Voltage vs. test time profiles of silicon islands (a) and the enlarged image (b). (c) The SEM images after the first cycle. The in-situ optical images at the initial state (d) and in the defect failure process during delithiation (e)–(i). The red arrow points the initial crack (the width of the island is 50 μm) [128].

  • Figure 8

    (Color online) The dimensionless Li ion concentration around the crack tip during Li ion extraction obtained from the phase field approach [147].

  • Figure 9

    (Color online) The schematic diagram of degradation mechanisms and mechanical strategies for c-Si electrodes with different geometries. (a) Solid structure; (b) isometric-hollow structure; (c) anisometric-hollow structure; (d) the capacity to alleviate fracture vs. the thickness-radius ratio based on the mechanical analysis and the experimental observation; (e) the comparisons of charge capacity and coulombic efficiency for Si electrodes with different geometries [170].

  • Figure 10

    (Color online) The von Mises equivalent stresses along the r axis in the active material (a) and binder region (b) for silicon composite electrodes [178].

  • Table 1   The common chemical potential in literature with the stress effects

    Order

    Expressions

    Relevant variables

    Ref.

    1

    μ=μ0+RTlogX-Ωσh

    μ0: A constant

    X: Molar fraction of Li ions

    Ω: Partial molar volume of Li ions

    σh: Hydrostatic stress

    [83,90]

    2

    μ=μ0+RTlogγc¯-Ωσh

    γ=11c¯exp(1RT[2(A02B0)c¯3(A0B0)c¯2])

    c¯=c/cmax

    γ: Activity coefficient, γ =1 for dilute solution

    cmax: A stoichiometric maximum concentration

    A0, B0: Parameters of Margules equation

    [91,92]

    3

    μ=RTlogγc¯β2(c¯)2ρ0Sijklc¯σijσklσkk3ρ0βc¯

    β: Volume expansion ratio

    ρ0: Molar density of active materials per unit reference volume

    [49,93]

    4

    μ=μ0+RT[log(c¯1c¯)+χ(12c¯)]λΔc¯[13ΩtrMeβcmax[12Ee:C(c¯)c¯[Ee]]Ω[12Ee:C(c¯)Ee]]

    χ: A parameter representing the energetic interaction

    λ: A gradient energy coefficient

    Me: Mandel stress

    Ee: Logarithmic elastic strain

    C: Elasticity tensor that can be expressed by shear modulus and bulk modulus

    [94]

    5

    μ=μ0+RTlog(γc^)+τ(F,c^)

    For the linearly elastic material,

    τ(F,c^)=Vm0xmax[13βc^Fi^m^eFi^n^eCm^n^k^l^Ek^l^e+12(βCi^j^k^l^c^+βc^Ci^j^k^l^)Ei^j^eEk^l^e]

    c^=(xx0)/xmax

    τ(F,ĉ): Stress-dependent chemical potential

    Vm0: molar volume of AxB at the stoichiometric concentration

    Ci^j^k^l^, Fi^j^e and Ei^j^e: Elasticity tensor, deformation gradient and elastic Lagrange strain in the intermediate state

    x0: Stoichiometric concentration of species A in AxB

    xmax: Maximum concentration of species A in AxB

    [9597]

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