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Title: How voltage drops are manifested by lithium ion configurations at interfaces and in thin films on battery electrodes

Battery electrode surfaces are generally coated with electronically insulating solid films of thickness 1-50 nm. Both electrons and Li + can move at the electrode–surface film interface in response to the voltage, which adds complexity to the “electric double layer” (EDL). We also apply Density Functional Theory (DFT) to investigate how the applied voltage is manifested as changes in the EDL at atomic length scales, including charge separation and interfacial dipole moments. Illustrating examples include Li 3PO 4, Li 2CO 3, and Li xMn 2O 4 thin films on Au(111) surfaces under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. Adsorbed organic solvent molecules can strongly reduce voltages predicted in vacuum. We propose that manipulating surface dipoles, seldom discussed in battery studies, may be a viable strategy to improve electrode passivation. We also distinguish the computed potential governing electrons, which is the actual or instantaneous voltage, and the “lithium cohesive energy”-based voltage governing Li content widely reported in DFT calculations, which is a slower-responding self-consistency criterion at interfaces. Furthermore, this distinction is critical for a comprehensive description of electrochemical activities on electrode surfaces, including Li + insertion dynamics, parasitic electrolyte decomposition, and electrodeposition at overpotentials.
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-7447; 579438
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Chemistry. C
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-7447
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; lithium ion batteries; voltage prediction; density functional theory; computational electrochemistry
OSTI Identifier: