Application of advanced electron microscopy in the study of charge transfer and lithium ion migration mechanisms in commercial lithium-ion batteries

On September 5, 2022, the team of Professors Ding Yi and Jiang Ningyi of Tianjin University of Technology held a meeting at Nano Research Energy ( a review paper titled “Elucidating the charge-transfer and Li-ion-migration mechanisms in commercial lithium-ion batteries with advanced electron microscopy.”

Figure 1: (a) The principle of traditional characterization methods (GITT, EIS, CV curve, XRD spectrum, XPS, Raman, and NMR spectra) and the information obtained in the battery. (b) Principles of advanced electron microscopy (atomic imaging, EDS, EELS, differential phase lining, electron hologram) and the information obtained in lithium-ion batteries.

Commercial lithium-ion batteries face different challenges in different application areas. In portable electronic products, the energy density of the battery is the core technical index; For electric vehicles, the cost, cycle life and safety of the battery, and the energy density (determining the range per charge) are key parameters; In energy storage applications, the cost, cycle life and safety of the battery are the three core factors affecting the design. In the electrochemical system of lithium-ion batteries, the electrode material is the core component of the battery and has a significant impact on the performance of commercial batteries. In order to meet the performance needs of the new generation of commercial lithium-ion batteries for long cycle life, high energy density, high safety and other performance needs, in addition to the need to study the inherent physical and chemical properties of materials, the most critical scientific issue is to clarify the structural evolution/kinetics of lithium ion embedding and shedding process, and its influence on the electrode-electrolyte interface, and the solution of these problems plays an important role in supporting and guiding the material optimization and full battery design of commercial lithium-ion batteries.

The paper summarizes the structure-activity relationship problems concerned by commercial lithium-ion batteries into two categories: charge transfer and lithium-ion migration mechanisms, and reviews the research progress of advanced electron microscopy technology in these two key processes (Figure 1). By comparing the characterization results obtained with traditional characterization techniques (such as XRD, XPS, etc.), the advantages and limitations of commonly used electron microscopy (such as atomic imaging, electron diffraction, energy spectroscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, etc.) and recently developed advanced electron microscopy techniques (such as electron holography, differential phase contrast, and in situ electron microscopy technology) in studying the charge transfer and ion migration mechanisms in commercial lithium-ion batteries are elucidated, and the need for electron microscopy technology to obtain more comprehensive information in combination with other technologies is pointed out. The paper summarizes several important issues concerned by commercial lithium-ion batteries in recent years: (1) transition metal dissolution and charge transfer mechanisms during cathode charge-discharge; (2) The structure and evolution of CEI and SEI during long-term circulation; (3) The influence of electrode structure and interface on lithium ion migration. This paper can help researchers to understand the relevant mechanisms at the microscopic scale of commercial lithium-ion batteries in a deeper understanding, and provide design strategies for the practical application of a new generation of high-performance batteries, which has certain guiding significance.

Related paper information:

Li, C.; Liu, B. W.; Jiang, N. Y.; Ding, Y. Elucidating the charge-transfer and Li-ion-migration mechanisms in commercial lithium-ion batteries with advanced electron microscopy. Nano Res. Energy 2022, 1: e9120031. DOI: 10.26599/NRE.2022.9120031. .

As a sister journal of Nano Research, Nano Research Energy (ISSN: 2791-0091; e-ISSN: 2790-8119; Official website: was launched in March 2022 and is co-edited by Professor Qu Liangti of Tsinghua University and Professor Chunyi Zhi of the City University of Hong Kong. Nano Research Energy is an international multidisciplinary, all-English open access journal, focusing on the cutting-edge research and application of nanomaterials and nanoscience technology in new energy-related fields, benchmarking against the top international energy journals, and committed to publishing high-level original research and review papers. Before 2023, the APC fee will be waived, and all teachers are welcome to submit articles. Please contact:

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