A Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Study on the Mechanisms of Amorphous Silicon Electrode Lithiation in Li-Ion Batteries

Erwin Hüger 1 , Bujar Jerliu 1 , Lars Dörrer 1 , Michael Bruns 2 , Günter Borchardt 1 ,  and Harald Schmidt 1
  • 1 Technische Universität Clausthal, Institut für Metallurgie, AG Mikrokinetik, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
  • 2 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Applied Materials (IAM-ESS) and Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany


Electrodes made of amorphous silicon are a promising alternative to graphite as anode material for the next generation of high-capacity Li-ion batteries. In order to optimize such batteries the mechanism of lithium incorporation into the electrode during charging has to be elucidated. In the present study we measured the modification of lithium distribution taking place during galvanostatic lithiation of about 600 nm thick amorphous silicon film electrodes at low current densities of about 30 μA/cm2 (∼ C/14) by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. The results were confirmed by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. The results indicate a two-step lithiation procedure where the electrode is transformed first into a homogeneously lithiated LixSi phase with a low Li content of x ≈ 0.3. During later stages of the lithiation process, the results are in agreement with the penetration of a highly lithiated phase via a moving phase boundary, as also observed for crystalline silicon.

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Founded in 1887, the Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie covers the main developments in physical chemistry, placing with an emphasis on experimental research. It represents a combination ofdiscusses reaction kinetics and spectroscopy, surface research and electrochemistry, thermodynamics and the structure analysis of matter in its various conditions, among other topics.