Towards Safer Lithium-Ion Batteries
Abstract: Surface film formation at the electrode/electrolyte interface in lithium-ion batteries has a crucial impact on battery performance and safety. This thesis describes the characterisation and treatment of electrode interfaces in lithium-ion batteries. The focus is on interface modification to improve battery safety, in particular to enhance the onset temperature for thermally activated reactions, which also can have a negative influence on battery performance. Photoelectron Spectroscopy (PES) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) are used to investigate the surface chemistry of electrodes in relation to their electrochemical performance. Surface film formation and decomposition reactions are discussed.The upper temperature limit for lithium-ion battery operation is restricted by exothermic reactions at the graphite anode; the onset temperature is shown to be governed by the composition of the surface film on the anode. Several electrolyte salts, additives and an anion receptor have been exploited to modify the surface film composition. The most promising thermal behaviour is found for graphite anodes cycled with the anion receptor, tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane, which reduces salt reactions and increases the onset temperature from ~80 °C to ~150 °C.The electrochemical performance and surface chemistry of Swedish natural graphite, carbon-treated LiFePO4 and anodes from high-power lithium-ion batteries are also investigated. Jet-milled Swedish natural graphite exhibits a high capacity and rate capability, together with a decreased susceptibility to solvent co-intercalation. Carbon-treated LiFePO4 shows promising results: no solvent reaction products are detected. The amount of salt compounds increases, with power fade occurring for anodes from high-power lithium-ion batteries; the solvent reduction products comprise mainly Li-carboxylate type compounds.
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