Direct measure of electrode spatial heterogeneity: Influence of processing conditions on anode architecture and performance

December 02, 2020

Mary K. Burdette-Trofimov (1), Beth L. Armstrong (2), Johanna Nelson Weker (3), Alexander M. Rogers (1), Guang Yang (1), Ethan C. Self (1), Ryan R. Armstrong (1), Jagjit Nanda (1), Gabriel M. Veith (1)
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 12, Issue 50, December 2020: 55954–55970. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c17019


spatial homogeneity, silicon electrodes, poly(acrylic acid)-based binders, X-ray nanotomography, electrode architecture


In this work, the spatial (in)homogeneity of aqueous processed silicon electrodes using standard poly(acrylic acid)-based binders and slurry preparation conditions is demonstrated. X-ray nanotomography shows segregation of materials into submicron-thick layers depending on the mixing method and starting binder molecular weights. Using a dispersant, or in situ production of dispersant from the cleavage of the binder into smaller molecular weight species, increases the resulting lateral homogeneity while drastically decreasing the vertical homogeneity as a result of sedimentation and separation due to gravitational forces. This data explains some of the variability in the literature with respect to silicon electrode performance and demonstrates two potential ways to improve slurry-based electrode fabrications.

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Author Affiliation

(1) Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830, United States.
(2) Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830, United States.
(3) Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, California 94025, United States.