In Situ Monitoring of the Solid Electrolyte Interphase

Introduction:

Rechargeable batteries are ubiquitous, playing vital roles not only in mobile phones and laptops, but power tools, medical equipment, electric cars, and large energy storage systems in global grids as well. The importance of these electrochemical cells cannot be overstated and is evident when their charge depletes in the direst time of need

Despite their widespread use, the pressure to refine their properties for enhancing longevity and reliability is ever-increasing. An ideal, cost-effective battery must have exceptional electrochemical performance, in addition to large capacity, long cycle life, high energy, and power densities, broad working temperature range, short charge time, and lightweight. A good understanding of different electrochemical processes that occur inside the device is critical for the optimization of various components of rechargeable batteries. Since many critical processes of batteries and other energy storage systems occur at the electrode-electrolyte interface, researchers have focused their attention on analyzing and decrypting the events at the electrode-electrolyte interface.

Standard Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are the most common rechargeable batteries. The cathode is made of lithium metal oxide and the anode is graphite-based. A polypropylene (or polyethylene) membrane serves as a barrier between the electrodes while a lithium salt permeates the space, acting as the electrolyte. Several potential problems are associated with this design: poor conductivity leading to reduced capacity, low wettability, high volume expansion, increased dendrite presence, and dangerous flammability (in the case of a lithium salt or solvent electrolyte). An expensive, heavy metallic casing is utilized to deal with these potential problems.

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