Analysis of an all-solid state nanobattery using molecular dynamics simulations under an external electric field
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Present Li-ion battery (LIB) technology requires strong improvements in performance, energy capacity, charging-time, and cost to expand their application to e-mobility and grid storage. Li-metal is one of the most promising materials to replace commercial anodes such as graphite because of its 10 times higher specific capacity. However, Li-metal has high reactivity with commercial liquid electrolytes; thus, new solid materials are proposed to replace liquid electrolytes when Li-metal anodes are used. We present a theoretical analysis of the charging process in a full nanobattery, containing a LiCoO2 cathode, a Li7P2S8I solid-state electrolyte (SSE), a Li-metal anode as well as Al and Cu collectors for the cathode and anode, respectively. In addition, we added a Li3P/Li2S film as a solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer between the Li-anode and SSE. Thus, we focus this study on the SEI and SSE. We simulated the charging of the nanobattery with an external voltage by applying an electric field. We estimated temperature profiles within the nanobattery and analyzed Li-ion transport through the SSE and SEI. We observed a slight temperature rise at the SEI due to reactions forming PS3- and P2S74- fragments at the interfaces; however, this temperature profile changes due to the charging current under the presence of the external electric field ε = 0.75 V Å-1. Without the external field, the calculated open-circuit voltage (OCV) was 3.86 V for the battery, which is within the range of values of commercial cobalt-based LIBs. This voltage implies a spontaneous fall of available Li-ions from the anode to the cathode (during discharge). The charge of this nanobattery requires overcoming the OCV plus an additional voltage that determines the charging current. Thus, we applied an external potential able to neutralize the OCV, plus an additional 1.6 V to induce the transport of Li+ from the cathode up to the anode. Several interesting details about Li+ transport paths through the SSE and SEI are discussed.
author list (cited authors)
Ponce, V., Galvez-Aranda, D. E., & Seminario, J. M.