All Publications

  • Data-driven prediction of battery cycle life before capacity degradation NATURE ENERGY Severson, K. A., Attia, P. M., Jin, N., Perkins, N., Jiang, B., Yang, Z., Chen, M. H., Aykol, M., Herring, P. K., Fraggedakis, D., Bazan, M. Z., Harris, S. J., Chueh, W. C., Braatz, R. D. 2019; 4 (5): 383–91
  • Evolution of the Solid-Electrolyte Interphase on Carbonaceous Anodes Visualized by Atomic-Resolution Cryogenic Electron Microscopy. Nano letters Huang, W. n., Attia, P. M., Wang, H. n., Renfrew, S. E., Jin, N. n., Das, S. n., Zhang, Z. n., Boyle, D. T., Li, Y. n., Bazant, M. Z., McCloskey, B. D., Chueh, W. C., Cui, Y. n. 2019


    The stability of modern lithium-ion batteries depends critically on an effective solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI), a passivation layer that forms on the carbonaceous negative electrode as a result of electrolyte reduction. However, a nanoscopic understanding of how the SEI evolves with battery aging remains limited due to the difficulty in characterizing the structural and chemical properties of this sensitive interphase. In this work, we image the SEI on carbon black negative electrodes using cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and track its evolution during cycling. We find that a thin, primarily amorphous SEI nucleates on the first cycle, which further evolves into one of two distinct SEI morphologies upon further cycling: (1) a compact SEI, with a high concentration of inorganic components that effectively passivates the negative electrode; and (2) an extended SEI spanning hundreds of nanometers. This extended SEI grows on particles that lack a compact SEI and consists primarily of alkyl carbonates. The diversity in observed SEI morphologies suggests that SEI growth is a highly heterogeneous process. The simultaneous emergence of these distinct SEI morphologies highlights the necessity of effective passivation by the SEI, as large-scale extended SEI growths negatively impact lithium-ion transport, contribute to capacity loss, and may accelerate battery failure.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b01515

    View details for PubMedID 31322896

  • Fluid-enhanced surface diffusion controls intraparticle phase transformations NATURE MATERIALS Li, Y., Chen, H., Lim, K., Deng, H. D., Lim, J., Fraggedakis, D., Attia, P. M., Lee, S., Jin, N., Moskon, J., Guan, Z., Gent, W. E., Hong, J., Yu, Y., Gaberscek, M., Islam, M., Bazant, M. Z., Chueh, W. C. 2018; 17 (10): 915-+
  • Fluid-enhanced surface diffusion controls intraparticle phase transformations. Nature materials Li, Y., Chen, H., Lim, K., Deng, H. D., Lim, J., Fraggedakis, D., Attia, P. M., Lee, S. C., Jin, N., Moskon, J., Guan, Z., Gent, W. E., Hong, J., Yu, Y., Gaberscek, M., Islam, M. S., Bazant, M. Z., Chueh, W. C. 2018


    Phase transformations driven by compositional change require mass flux across a phase boundary. In some anisotropic solids, however, the phase boundary moves along a non-conductive crystallographic direction. One such material is LiXFePO4, an electrode for lithium-ion batteries. With poor bulk ionic transport along the direction of phase separation, it is unclear how lithium migrates during phase transformations. Here, we show that lithium migrates along the solid/liquid interface without leaving the particle, whereby charge carriers do not cross the double layer. X-ray diffraction and microscopy experiments as well as abinitio molecular dynamics simulations show that organic solvent and water molecules promote this surface ion diffusion, effectively rendering LiXFePO4 a three-dimensional lithium-ion conductor. Phase-field simulations capture the effects of surface diffusion on phase transformation. Lowering surface diffusivity is crucial towards supressing phase separation. This work establishes fluid-enhanced surface diffusion as a key dial for tuning phase transformation in anisotropic solids.

    View details for PubMedID 30224783

  • Origin and hysteresis of lithium compositional spatiodynamics within battery primary particles. Science Lim, J., Li, Y., Alsem, D. H., So, H., Lee, S. C., Bai, P., Cogswell, D. A., Liu, X., Jin, N., Yu, Y., Salmon, N. J., Shapiro, D. A., Bazant, M. Z., Tyliszczak, T., Chueh, W. C. 2016; 353 (6299): 566-571


    The kinetics and uniformity of ion insertion reactions at the solid-liquid interface govern the rate capability and lifetime, respectively, of electrochemical devices such as Li-ion batteries. Using an operando x-ray microscopy platform that maps the dynamics of the Li composition and insertion rate in Li(x)FePO4, we found that nanoscale spatial variations in rate and in composition control the lithiation pathway at the subparticle length scale. Specifically, spatial variations in the insertion rate constant lead to the formation of nonuniform domains, and the composition dependence of the rate constant amplifies nonuniformities during delithiation but suppresses them during lithiation, and moreover stabilizes the solid solution during lithiation. This coupling of lithium composition and surface reaction rates controls the kinetics and uniformity during electrochemical ion insertion.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.aaf4914

    View details for PubMedID 27493180