Indexed on: 08 Sep '16Published on: 08 Sep '16Published in: Scientific Reports
Underutilization due to performance limitations imposed by species and charge transports is one of the key issues that persist with various lithium-ion batteries. To elucidate the relevant mechanisms, two groups of characteristic parameters were proposed. The first group contains three characteristic time parameters, namely: (1) te, which characterizes the Li-ion transport rate in the electrolyte phase, (2) ts, characterizing the lithium diffusion rate in the solid active materials, and (3) tc, describing the local Li-ion depletion rate in electrolyte phase at the electrolyte/electrode interface due to electrochemical reactions. The second group contains two electric resistance parameters: Re and Rs, which represent respectively, the equivalent ionic transport resistance and the effective electronic transport resistance in the electrode. Electrochemical modeling and simulations to the discharge process of LiCoO2 cells reveal that: (1) if te, ts and tc are on the same order of magnitude, the species transports may not cause any performance limitations to the battery; (2) the underlying mechanisms of performance limitations due to thick electrode, high-rate operation, and large-sized active material particles as well as effects of charge transports are revealed. The findings may be used as quantitative guidelines in the development and design of more advanced Li-ion batteries.