Coupling of electrochemically triggered thermal and mechanical effects to aggravate failure in a layered cathode

Pengfei Yan, Jianming Zheng, Tianwu Chen, Langli Luo, Yuyuan Jiang, Kuan Wang, Manling Sui, Ji Guang Zhang, Sulin Zhang, Chongmin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electrochemically driven functioning of a battery inevitably induces thermal and mechanical effects, which in turn couple with the electrochemical effect and collectively govern the performance of the battery. However, such a coupling effect, whether favorable or detrimental, has never been explicitly elucidated. Here we use in situ transmission electron microscopy to demonstrate such a coupling effect. We discover that thermally perturbating delithiated LiNi0.6Mn0.2Co0.2O2 will trigger explosive nucleation and propagation of intragranular cracks in the lattice, providing us a unique opportunity to directly visualize the cracking mechanism and dynamics. We reveal that thermal stress associated with electrochemically induced phase inhomogeneity and internal pressure resulting from oxygen release are the primary driving forces for intragranular cracking that resembles a "popcorn" fracture mechanism. The present work reveals that, for battery performance, the intricate coupling of electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical effects will surpass the superposition of individual effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2437
JournalNature communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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