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ECS San Francisco Section: Distinguished Seminar Series with Prof. Brett Lucht

September 22, 2022
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A solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) is generated on the anode of lithium ion batteries during the first few charging cycles. The presence and stability of the SEI is critical to the performance of the battery. However, despite thorough investigation of the SEI for the last few decades, the SEI remains poorly understood. Over the last several years additional investigations of the structure of the initial SEI formed on graphite electrodes along with changes which occur to the SEI upon additional cycling have been conducted.  The investigations provide significant new insight into the structure and evolution of the anode SEI. The initial reduction products of ethylene carbonate (EC) are lithium ethylene dicarbonate (LEDC) and ethylene. However, the instability of LEDC generates an intricate mixture of compounds which greatly complicates the composition of the SEI. The reduction products and their subsequent decomposition products have been thoroughly investigated via a combination of NMR, XPS, IR-ATR, TGA, GCMS, and OEMS. Mechanisms for the generation of the complicated mixture of products are presented along with the differences in the SEI structure and function in the presence of electrolyte additives vinylene carbonate (VC) and fluoroethylene carbonate (FEC). While transition metal catalyzed degradation of the anode SEI has been widely proposed as a primary source of capacity loss for high voltage lithium ion batteries, we propose a related acid induced degradation of the anode SEI. The role of potential on the generation of soluble acidic fluorophosphates crossover species and the impact of these species on the structure and stability of the SEI will be presented.

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