Postdoctoral fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


I use a PFC model to explore how electrode crystallography affects charging cycle in lithium battery

Li-ion batteries (LIB) power mobile phones, tablets and other portable electronic devices, and are promising candidates for sustainable energy storage. During a charge/discharge cycle in a LIB, the electrode materials form characteristic microstructures comprising of thin plate-like features which resemble the energy minimizing patterns found in shape memory alloys. These microstructures comprise of coherent interfaces that move during battery operation and are known to affect lithiation kinetics and volume expansion of electrodes. However, at present there is no systematic study on how material crystallography affects the formation of these coherent interfaces in electrode materials. In the current study, I develop and apply a phase field crystal model to describe the microstructures formed in electrode materials and to investigate the role played by coherent interfaces on a battery cycle. An understanding on this topic will give insights and strategies to dope cathode materials so as to tailor the Li-ion diffusion and anisotropic expansion of electrodes.