Diffusion of lithium ions and diffusion-induced stresses in a phase separating electrode under galvanostatic and potentiostatic operations: Phase field simulations

Yicheng Song, Z Z Li, Junqian Zhang, Ai Kah Soh

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    Phase separation in an electrode of a lithium ion battery, which is a phenomenon where an active electrode material is separated into Li-rich and Li-poor phases, exists widely in many active materials and has significant impacts on the diffusion of lithium ions and diffusion-induced stresses. A phase field model is developed to study the phase separation. Firstly, the influences of various energies, such as the free energy of uniform Li-ion concentration, gradient energy and elastic energy, on phase separation are discussed. Secondly, the impacts of charge operation, e.g. galvanostatic and potentiostatic, on Li-ion diffusion and diffusion-induced stresses in a planar phase separating electrode are investigated. Calculations are also made for single phase electrodes based on Fick s law for comparison. The obtained simulation results show that the Li-ion diffusion in a phase separating electrode depends significantly on the phase separating profile and movement of phase boundary, but it is not sensitive to charge operation. The diffusion-induced stresses also separate into high and low stress regions. Finally, based on the diffusion process and diffusion-induced stress, it is suggested that phase separation should be avoided for the sake of fast charging and mechanical reliability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363 - 371
    Number of pages9
    JournalMechanics of Materials
    Issue numberDecember 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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