Quantifying Diffusion through Interfaces of Lithium-Ion Battery Active Materials

Detailed understanding of charge diffusion processes in a lithium-ion battery is crucial to enable its systematic improvement. Experimental investigation of diffusion at the interface between active particles and the electrolyte is challenging but warrants investigation as it can introduce resistances that, for example, limit the charge and discharge rates. Here, we show an approach to study diffusion at interfaces using muon spin spectroscopy. By performing measurements on LiFePO4 platelets with different sizes, we determine how diffusion through the LiFePO4 (010) interface differs from that in the center of the particle (i.e., bulk diffusion). We perform ab initio calculations to aid the understanding of the results and show the relevance of our interfacial diffusion measurement to electrochemical performance through cyclic voltammetry measurements. These results indicate that surface engineering can be used to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.