Dynamics of particle network in composite battery cathodes


Improving composite battery electrodes requires a delicate control of active materials and electrode formulation. The electrochemically active particles fulfill their role as energy exchange reservoirs through interacting with the surrounding conductive network. We formulate a network evolution model to interpret the regulation and equilibration between electrochemical activity and mechanical damage of these particles. Through statistical analysis of thousands of particles using x-ray phase contrast holotomography in a LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2-based cathode, we found that the local network heterogeneity results in asynchronous activities in the early cycles, and subsequently the particle assemblies move toward a synchronous behavior. Our study pinpoints the chemomechanical behavior of individual particles and enables better designs of the conductive network to optimize the utility of all the particles during operation.

Science, 376(6592), 517-521, 2022