Electrochemical Stiffness Measurements of Graphite Anodes for Li-Ion Batterie

Wednesday, 27 May 2015: 11:20
Salon A-3 (Hilton Chicago)
H. Tavassol (California Institute of Technology), E. M. C. Jones, N. R. Sottos, and A. A. Gewirth (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
We report on measurement of the electrochemical stiffness of the graphite anodes during Li exchange in Li-ion batteries. Graphite is the most common anode material used in commercial Li-ion batteries. During lithiation and delithiation of the graphite anodes, Li-graphite intercalation compounds with varying Li content (LixC6, 0 x ≤ 1), and graphene layer spacing are formed.  Hence, Li intercalation and de-intercalation causes considerable mechanical changes in the whole electrode.

We use curvature bending measurements to monitor stress changes in a thin graphite electrode constrained on an inert, rigid substrate. In a separate experiment, we employ digital image correlation to track strain changes in a free-standing, unconstrained graphite electrode. Combining in-situstress and strain analyses enables us to extract the potential-dependent stiffness of the graphite anodes during lithiation-delithiation cycles.

As expected, graphite anodes develop compressive stress during lithiation (ca. 10 MPa). The compressive stress is removed during delithiation. Strain response also corresponds with the Li deposition and removal, as graphite anodes expand during lithiation (ca. 1.5 % linear strain) and contract over delithiation. The electrode exhibits an initially stiff response at high potentials and low lithium contents, and then gradually softens during early formation of dilute stage I of the Li-graphite intercalation compound.  As the potential is lowered and lithium content increases, several oscillations in the stiffness are observed, which correspond with the phase transitions during different stages of graphite lithiation.  The evolution of stress, strain and stiffness data provides quantitative information on the coupled electro-chemo-mechanical response of the battery electrodes and insight on material strategies to increase battery reliability.