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In Situ Neutron Depth Profiling of Lithium Metal–Garnet Interfaces for Solid State Batteries

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journal contribution
posted on 17.09.2017, 00:00 by Chengwei Wang, Yunhui Gong, Jiaqi Dai, Lei Zhang, Hua Xie, Glenn Pastel, Boyang Liu, Eric Wachsman, Howard Wang, Liangbing Hu
The garnet-based solid state electrolyte (SSE) is considered a promising candidate to realize all solid state lithium (Li) metal batteries. However, critical issues require additional investigation before practical applications become possible, among which high interfacial impedance and low interfacial stability remain the most challenging. In this work, neutron depth profiling (NDP), a nondestructive and uniquely Li-sensitive technique, has been used to reveal the interfacial behavior of garnet SSE in contact with metallic Li through in situ monitoring of Li plating–stripping processes. The NDP measurement demonstrates predictive capabilities for diagnosing short-circuits in solid state batteries. Two types of cells, symmetric Li/garnet/Li (LGL) cells and asymmetric Li/garnet/carbon-nanotubes (LGC), are fabricated to emulate the behavior of Li metal and Li-free Li metal anodes, respectively. The data imply the limitation of Li-free Li metal anode in forming reliable interfacial contacts, and strategies of excessive Li and better interfacial engineering need to be investigated.