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Exploring 3D microstructural evolution in Li-Sulfur battery electrodes using in-situ X-ray tomography

Yermukhambetova, A; Tan, C; Daemi, SR; Bakenov, Z; Darr, JA; Brett, DJ; Shearing, PR; (2016) Exploring 3D microstructural evolution in Li-Sulfur battery electrodes using in-situ X-ray tomography. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 35291. 10.1038/srep35291. Green open access

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Abstract

Lithium sulfur (Li-S) batteries offer higher theoretical specific capacity, lower cost and enhanced safety compared to current Li-ion battery technology. However, the multiple reactions and phase changes in the sulfur conversion cathode result in highly complex phenomena that significantly impact cycling life. For the first time to the authors' knowledge, a multi-scale 3D in-situ tomography approach is used to characterize morphological parameters and track microstructural evolution of the sulfur cathode across multiple charge cycles. Here we show the uneven distribution of the sulfur phase fraction within the electrode thickness as a function of charge cycles, suggesting significant mass transport limitations within thick-film sulfur cathodes. Furthermore, we report a shift towards larger particle sizes and a decrease in volume specific surface area with cycling, suggesting sulfur agglomeration. Finally, we demonstrate the nano-scopic length-scale required for the features of the carbon binder domain to become discernible, confirming the need for future work on in-situ nano-tomography. We anticipate that X-ray tomography will be a powerful tool for optimization of electrode structures for Li-S batteries.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring 3D microstructural evolution in Li-Sulfur battery electrodes using in-situ X-ray tomography
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep35291
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep35291
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522465
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