A Framework for Three-Dimensional Mesoscale Modeling of Anisotropic Swelling and Mechanical Deformation in Lithium-Ion Electrodes

SA Roberts and VE Brunini and KN Long and AM Grillet, JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY, 161, F3052-F3059 (2014).

DOI: 10.1149/2.0081411jes

Lithium-ion battery electrodes rely on a percolated network of solid particles and binder that must maintain a high electronic conductivity in order to function. Coupled mechanical and electrochemical simulations may be able to elucidate the mechanisms for capacity fade. We present a framework for coupled simulations of electrode mechanics that includes swelling, deformation, and stress generation driven by lithium intercalation. These simulations are performed at the mesoscale, which requires 3D reconstruction of the electrode microstructure from experimental imaging or particle site distributions. We present a novel approach for utilizing these complex reconstructions within a finite element code. A mechanical model that involves anisotropic swelling in response to lithium intercalation drives the deformation. Stresses arise from small-scale particle features and lithium concentration gradients. However, we demonstrate, for the first time, that the largest stresses arise from particle-to-particle contacts, making it important to accurately represent the electrode microstructure on the multi-particle scale. Including anisotropy in the swelling mechanics adds considerably more complexity to the stresses and can significantly enhance peak particle stresses. Shear forces arise at contacts due to the misorientation of the lattice structure. These simulations will be used to study mechanical degradation of the electrode structure through charge/discharge cycles. (C) The Author(s) 2014. Published by ECS. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 License (CC BY-NC- ND, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is not changed in any way and is properly cited. For permission for commercial reuse, please email: oa@electrochem.org. All rights reserved.

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