Researchers Use Compression to Raise Lithium Cell Cycle Life by 40%

Dendrite growth degrades the performance of lithium-ion batteries


Researchers at the ARC Training Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies (storEnergy) found that the suppression of the lithium metal creep (Li-creep) under controlled conditions can extend the cell cycle life by 40%, resulting in reduced deformation levels of lithium.

While lithium happens to be the most crucial element in batteries, the growth of dendrite, which is a twig-shaped crystal that accumulates atop the anode of Li-ion batteries, leads to certain deformities which are termed lithium metal creep or Li-creep. It degrades the separator within the Li pouch cell.

Separator deformation accelerates internal short circuits in Li-metal batteries and adversely affects the overall performance and life cycle of the cell and the battery.

The experiment was aimed at densifying the lithium deposit by applying external suppression to reduce or control the dendrite growth.

The researchers focussed on various compression-linked methods that lead to the failure of cells. They used scanning electron microscopy while the pouch cells were placed under elevated temperature and discovered a more uniform and less dendritic lithium deposition at higher levels of compression.

The experiment further targeted increased suppression of Li-creep in the battery and the researchers reduced the testing temperature to 25 degrees Celsius while maintaining the compression at a higher level.

Given its lowest electrochemical potential and enhanced capacity, lithium is largely chosen as an anode in all-solid-state batteries.

Experts have been studying the growth of Li dendrites which propagate severely in batteries that use liquid electrolytes. Such batteries have an uneven charge distribution at the interface of the electrolyte and the electrode.

However, in the latest study, the researchers studied the high-capacity lithium metal pouch cells in pyrrolidinium-based ionic liquid electrolytes at high temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius.

Picture1-Lithium Battery

In another experiment, researchers at the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology developed a new electrolyte technology through magnetic nanoparticles to solve issues related to dendrite growth on the anode surface of lithium batteries.

In September 2021, scientists at the Nanyang Technological University claimed to have invented a battery component that provides an additional protection layer to prevent short circuits in lithium-ion batteries that are the primary cause for such batteries catching fire. The experts said that the anti-short layer developed by them can be easily added inside the Li-ion batteries to prevent short circuits while the battery is charging.