Direct in situ measurements of electrical properties of solid-electrolyte interphase on lithium metal anodes. Academic Article uri icon


  • The solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) critically governs the performance of rechargeable batteries. An ideal SEI is expected to be electrically insulative to prevent persistently parasitic reactions between the electrode and the electrolyte and ionically conductive to facilitate Faradaic reactions of the electrode. However, the true nature of the electrical properties of the SEI remains hitherto unclear due to the lack of a direct characterization method. Here we use in situ bias transmission electron microscopy to directly measure the electrical properties of SEIs formed on copper and lithium substrates. We reveal that SEIs show a voltage-dependent differential conductance. A higher rate of differential conductance induces a thicker SEI with an intricate topographic feature, leading to an inferior Coulombic efficiency and cycling stability in LiCu and LiLiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2 cells. Our work provides insight into the targeted design of the SEI with desired characteristics towards better battery performance.

published proceedings

  • Nat Energy

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, Y., Jia, H., Gao, P., Galvez-Aranda, D. E., Beltran, S. P., Cao, X., ... Wang, C.

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Yaobin||Jia, Hao||Gao, Peiyuan||Galvez-Aranda, Diego E||Beltran, Saul Perez||Cao, Xia||Le, Phung ML||Liu, Jianfang||Engelhard, Mark H||Li, Shuang||Ren, Gang||Seminario, Jorge M||Balbuena, Perla B||Zhang, Ji-Guang||Xu, Wu||Wang, Chongmin

publication date

  • December 2023