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Operando visualization and multi-scale tomography studies of dendrite formation and dissolution in zinc batteries

DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2018.11.002 DOI Help

Authors: Vladimir Yufit (Imperial College London) , Farid Tariq (Imperial College London) , David S. Eastwood (University of Manchester; Research Complex at Harwell) , Moshiel Biton (Imperial College London) , Billy Wu (Imperial College London) , Peter D. Lee (University College London; Research Complex at Harwell) , Nigel P. Brandon (Imperial College London)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Joule

State: Published (Approved)
Published: December 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 4999

Abstract: Alternative battery technologies are required to meet growing energy demands and address the limitations of present technologies. As such, it is necessary to look beyond lithium-ion batteries. Zinc batteries enable high power density while being sourced from ubiquitous and cost-effective materials. This paper presents, for the first time known to the authors, multi-length scale tomography studies of failure mechanisms in zinc batteries with and without commercial microporous separators. In both cases, dendrites were grown, dissolved, and regrown, critically resulting in different morphology of dendritic layer formed on both the electrode and the separator. The growth of dendrites and their volume-specific areas were quantified using tomography and radiography data in unprecedented resolution. High-resolution ex situ analysis was employed to characterize single dendrites and dendritic deposits inside the separator. The findings provide unique insights into mechanisms of metal-battery failure effected by growing dendrites.

Journal Keywords: battery degradation and failure; dendrite formation; synchrotron X-ray computed tomography; radiography; 3D imaging and quantification; FIB-SEM tomography; rechargeable zinc batteries

Subject Areas: Materials
Collaborations: Diamond Manchester

Instruments: I13-2-Diamond Manchester Imaging