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Title: Using X-ray Microscopy To Understand How Nanoporous Materials Can Be Used To Reduce the Large Volume Change in Alloy Anodes

Tin metal is an attractive negative electrode material to replace graphite in Li-ion batteries due to its high energy density. However, tin undergoes a large volume change upon alloying with Li, which pulverizes the particles, and ultimately leads to short cycling lifetimes. Nevertheless, nanoporous materials have been shown to extend battery life well past what is observed in nonporous material. Despite the exciting potential of porous alloying anodes to significantly increase the energy density in Li-ion batteries, the fundamental physics of how nanoscale architectures accommodate the electrochemically induced volume changes are poorly understood. Here, operando transmission X-ray microscopy has been used to develop an understanding of the mechanisms that govern the enhanced cycling stability in nanoporous tin. We found that in comparison to dense tin, nanoporous tin undergoes a 6-fold smaller areal expansion after lithiation, as a result of the internal porosity and unique nanoscale architecture. The expansion is also more gradual in nanoporous tin compared to the dense material. The nanoscale resolution of the microscope used in this study is ~30 nm, which allowed us to directly observe the pore structure during lithiation and delithiation. We found that nanoporous tin remains porous during the first insertion and desinsertion cycle.more » This observation is key, as fully closed pores could lead to mechanical instability, electrolyte inaccessibility, and short lifetimes. Here, while tin was chosen for this study because of its high X-ray contrast, the results of this work should be general to other alloy-type systems, such as Si, that also suffer from volume change based cycling degradation.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  2. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0014213; AC02-76SF00515
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nano Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1530-6984
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; alloy anodes; in situ; Li-ion battery; operando; porous silicon; porous tin; tin; transmission X-ray microscope
OSTI Identifier: