Meso and Microstructural Properties in Lithium-Ion Batteries
R. Edwin García
Professor of Materials Engineering
Rechargeable batteries are porous electrochemical structures composed of secondary particles, which are aggregates of single crystal primary particles, pores, cracks, and processing-induced phases and features. The underlying meso and microstructural topology, including its size, size distribution, morphology and crystallographic orientation of each of the underlying phases impacts the delivered power and energy density. While it is clear that the component with the lowest efficiency will be the bottleneck to performance of the overall device, the understanding of the fundamentals associated to the different electrochemical and chemomechanical interactions of the underlying phases remains unclear. In this paper we will discuss the meso and microstructural limitations associated to porous cathode electrodes, and will outline strategies to tune the response of primary and secondary particle configurations for high power or energy density applications.
Prof. R. Edwin García is a Professor of Materials at the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University (2005-present). He earned the Physics degree at the National University of Mexico in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003. His research group focuses on the design of materials and devices through the development of a fundamental understanding of the solid state physics of the individual phases, their short and long range interactions, and its associated microstructural properties and time evolution. His current research focuses in establishing relationships between battery microstructural parameters and the associated power density, in order to maximize its performance in applications, such as electric vehicles. The effort has led to several scientific publications, whose focus is to quantify the effects of randomness and particle-particle interactions in experimentally determined cross-sections and to detail the interfacial and bulk interactions during multiple charge/discharge cycles. The ongoing research quantifies the effect of battery properties and the advantages and disadvantages of emerging high power densities and out-of-the box designs. The ongoing effort integrates experimental and theoretical knowledge to advance the emerging field of rechargeable battery technology in order to address one of the country’s key energy challenges.