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“Electrochemical Kinetics of SEI Growth on Carbon Black: Part II. Modeling”

Latest updated: May 26, 2020

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


[DOI: 10.1149/2.0241904jes]/Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 166 (4) E107-E118 (2019)



Mathematical models of capacity fade can reduce the time and cost of lithium-ion battery development and deployment, and growth of the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) is a major source of capacity fade. Experiments in Part I reveal nonlinear voltage dependence and strong charge-discharge asymmetry in SEI growth on carbon black negative electrodes, which is not captured by previous models. Here, we present a theoretical model for the electrochemical kinetics of SEI growth coupled to lithium intercalation, which accurately predicts experimental results with few adjustable parameters. The key hypothesis is that the initial SEI is a mixed ion-electron conductor, and its electronic conductivity varies approximately with the square of the local lithium concentration, consistent with hopping conduction of electrons along percolating networks. By including a lithium-ion concentration dependence for the electronic conductivity in the SEI, the bulk SEI thus modulates the overpotential and exchange current of the electrolyte reduction reaction. As a result, SEI growth is promoted during lithiation but suppressed during delithiation. This new insight establishes the fundamental electrochemistry of SEI growth kinetics. Our model improves upon existing models by introducing the effects of electrochemical SEI growth and its dependence on potential, current magnitude, and current direction in predicting capacity fade.


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