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Reducing Impedance at a Li-Metal Anode/Garnet-Type Electrolyte Interface Implementing Chemically Resolvable In Layers

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journal contribution
posted on 17.03.2022, 21:03 authored by Marius Müller, Johannes Schmieg, Sebastian Dierickx, Jochen Joos, André Weber, Dagmar Gerthsen, Ellen Ivers-Tiffée
Garnet-type Li7La3Zr2O12 (LLZO) is a potential electrolyte material for all-solid-state Li-ion batteries mainly because of its reported excellent chemical stability in contact with Li metal. But good wettability of LLZO and 100% surface coverage of lithium are still a challenge. This study elucidated the suitability of magnetron-sputtered indium in Li­(In)/LLZO/Li­(In) symmetrical model cells as one of the promising interfacial modifications reported in the literature. Importance was given to the impact of preparation parameters on the surface coverage of Li­(In)/LLZO interfaces and the consequences of impedance, cycling stability, and critical current density. SEM and EDXS analyses of In layers of thickness 100 nm to 1 μm revealed complete dissolution of indium in the lithium anode after annealing; 300 nm In layers annealed at 220 °C/10 h provided a surface coverage of >80%, best reproducibility, and a supreme interface resistance Rint of 12.4 Ω·cm2. Presuming a surface coverage of 100%, an ultimate interface resistance close to 1 Ω·cm2 can be expected. The critical current density was determined as 200–500 μA/cm2 at a charge of 100–250 μAh, whereas 500 μA/cm2 and above affected cell stability. The increasing voltage plateau was assigned to the increase of the interface resistance Rint and the electrolyte resistance RG+GB. SEM, EDXS, and X-ray microtomography analyses after voltage breakdown confirmed Li-dendrite growth along grain boundaries into LLZO, often curved parallel to the interface, indicating short-circuiting of the solid electrolyte. Grain boundary characteristics are supposed to be decisive for lithium deposition in and failure of garnet-type solid electrolytes after cycling.

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