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Lithium Acetylide: A Spectroscopic Marker for Lithium Deposition During Fast Charging of Li-Ion Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 24.12.2018, 00:00 by Marco-Tulio Fonseca Rodrigues, Victor A. Maroni, David J. Gosztola, Koffi P. C. Yao, Kaushik Kalaga, Ilya A. Shkrob, Daniel P. Abraham
Rapid charging of lithium-ion batteries being developed for electric vehicles is a formidable challenge. Electrochemical polarization of cells during fast charging favors deposition of metallic Li onto the surface of the graphite electrode, and this Li plating compromises safety and accelerates performance degradation. Observing the onset of Li nucleation is essential for elucidation of mechanisms and defining conditions favoring this Li plating, but presently available methods are not sufficiently sensitive and selective while also allowing satisfactory spatial resolution. Here we demonstrate the use of Raman spectroscopy as a sensitive means to identify Li nucleation and map Li deposition. Metallic Li is detected indirectly by probing the vibrations in an acetylide species (represented as LiCCX) that is formed on the exposed surface of Li nuclei in contact with the solid electrolyte interphase on graphite. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) involving this species on Li nuclei appears to dramatically increase sensitivity and selectivity of this detection, making our method an excellent complement to the existing spectroscopy and microscopy approaches for determining Li deposition.