Predicting Calendar Aging in Lithium Metal Secondary Batteries: The Impacts of Solid Electrolyte Interphase Composition and Stability

Wood, Sean M.; Fang, Chengcheng; Dufek, Eric J.; Nagpure, Shrikant C.; Sazhin, Sergiy V.; Liaw, Boryann; Meng, Y. Shirley

September 2018 - Calendar aging of lithium metal batteries, in which cells' components degrade internally due to chemical reactions while no current is being applied, is a relatively unstudied field. In this work, a model to predict calendar aging of lithium metal cells is developed using two sets of readily obtainable data: solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer composition (measured via X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy) and SEI stability (measured as a degradation rate using a simple constant current–constant voltage charging protocol). Electrolyte properties such as volume and salt concentration are varied in order to determine their effect on SEI stability and composition, with subsequent impacts to calendar aging. Lower salt concentrations produce a solvent‐based, more soluble SEI, while the highest concentration produces a salt‐based, less soluble SEI. Higher electrolyte volumes promote dissolution of the SEI and thus decrease its stability. The model predicts that lithium metal would be the limiting factor in calendar aging, depleting long before the electrolyte does. Additionally, the relative composition of the electrolyte during aging is modeled and found to eventually converge to the same value independent of initial salt concentration.

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