In-situ observation of structural changesaccompanying charging-discharging of cathode materials of lithium ion batteries

Controlling the state of the charge-discharge process is believed to be crucial for extending the life of lithium ion batteries. Therefore, it is not enough to simply observe the electrode structure in the 100% charged and discharged states, and there is a need to carry out in-situ observation of the relationship between depth of charge, depth of discharge and electrode structure. However, if materials are removed once from sealed batteries, the materials will react with the atmosphere, and the charge-discharge state will change due to peeling of electrodes. Thus there is a risk of the material changing into another structure, irrespective of the charge-discharge situation. As a result, with previous methods, it was difficult to observe changes in materials accompanying charging-discharging via an X-ray diffraction measurement. However, with batteries made using lithium ion battery cells for evaluation and testing, X-ray diffraction can be performed simultaneously with charge-discharge testing. Thus it is possible to carry out evaluation by directly relating changes in the state of samples to charge-discharge characteristics, without performing any additional work on the materials subjected to charge-discharge testing, such as opening seals or peeling electrodes.

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