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Kinetics of Initial Lithiation of Crystalline Silicon Electrodes of Lithium-ion Batteries

Matt Pharr's picture

Electrochemical experiments were conducted on {100}, {110}, and {111} silicon wafers to characterize the kinetics of the initial lithiation of crystalline Si electrodes. Under constant current conditions, we observed constant cell potentials for all orientations, indicating the existence of a phase boundary that separates crystalline silicon from the amorphous lithiated phase. For a given potential, the velocity of this boundary was found to be faster for {110} silicon than for the other two orientations. We show that our measurements of varying phase boundary velocities can accurately account for anisotropic morphologies and fracture developed in crystalline silicon nanopillars. We also present a kinetic model by considering the redox reaction at the electrolyte/lithiated silicon interface, the diffusion of lithium through the lithiated phase, and the chemical reaction at the lithiated silicon/crystalline silicon interface. From this model, we quantify the rates of the reactions at the interfaces and estimate a lower bound on the diffusivity through the lithiated silicon phase.

 The paper has been accepted for publication in Nano Letters and can be downloaded from:

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Kinetics of initial lithiation of crystalline silicon electrodes of lithium-ion batteries

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