Conical surface structures on model thin-film electrodes and tape-cast electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries

Kohler, R.; Proell, J.; Bruns, M.; Ulrich, S.; Seifert, H.; Pfleging, W.
July 2013
Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing;Jul2013, Vol. 112 Issue 1, p77
Academic Journal
Three-dimensional structures in cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries were investigated in this study. For this purpose, laser structuring of lithium cobalt oxide was investigated at first for a thin-film model system and in a second step for conventional tape-cast electrode materials. The model thin-film cathodes with a thickness of 3 μm were deposited using RF magnetron sputtering on stainless steel substrates. The films were structured via excimer laser radiation with a wavelength of 248 nm. By adjusting the laser fluence, self-organized conical microstructures were formed. Using conventional electrodes, tape-cast cathodes made of LiCoO with a film thickness of about 80 μm on aluminum substrates were studied. It was shown that self-organizing surface structures could be formed by adjustment of the laser parameters. To investigate the formation mechanisms of the conical topography, the element composition was studied by time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Electrochemical cycling using a lithium anode and conventional electrolyte was applied to study the influence of the laser processing procedures on cell performance. For the model electrode system, a significantly higher discharge capacity of 80 mAh/g could be obtained after 110 cycles by laser structuring compared to 8 mAh/g of the unstructured thin film. On conventional tape-cast electrodes self-organized surface structures could also increase the cycling stability resulting in an 80 % increase in capacity after 110 cycles in comparison to the unstructured electrode.


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