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Electrochemical Kinetics of SEI Growth on Carbon Black: Part I. Experiments

Latest updated: May 26, 2020

Peter M. Attia, Supratim Das, Stephen J. Harris, Martin Z. Bazant and William C. Chueh


[DOI: 10.1149/2.0231904jes]/Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 166 (4) E97-E106 (2019)



Growth of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) is a primary driver of capacity fade in lithium-ion batteries. Despite its importance to this device and intense research interest, the fundamental mechanisms underpinning SEI growth remain unclear. In Part I of this work, we present an electroanalytical method to measure the dependence of SEI growth on potential, current magnitude, and current direction during galvanostatic cycling of carbon black/Li half cells. We find that SEI growth strongly depends on all three parameters; most notably, we find SEI growth rates increase with a nominal C rate and are significantly higher on lithiation than on delithiation. We observe this directional effect in both galvanostatic and potentiostatic experiments and discuss hypotheses that could explain this observation. This work identifies a strong coupling between SEI growth and charge storage (e.g., intercalation and capacitance) in carbon negative electrodes.


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