Three-dimensional reconstruction and computational analysis of a structural battery composite electrolyte

June 29, 2023

Shanghong Duan (1), Martina Cattaruzza (2), Vinh Tu (1), Robert M. Auenhammer (1), Ralf Janicke (3), Mats K. G. Johansson (2), Fang Liu (1), Leif E. Asp (1)
Communications Materials. (29 June 2023). DOI:


composites, electronic devices


Structural batteries are multifunctional composite materials that can carry mechanical load and store electrical energy. Their multifunctionality requires an ionically conductive and stiff electrolyte matrix material. For this purpose, a bi-continuous polymer electrolyte is used where a porous solid phase holds the structural integrity of the system, and a liquid phase, which occupies the pores, conducts lithium ions. To assess the porous structure, three-dimensional topology information is needed. Here we study the three-dimensional structure of the porous battery electrolyte material using combined focused ion beam and scanning electron microscopy and transfer into finite element models. Numerical analyses provide predictions of elastic modulus and ionic conductivity of the bi-continuous electrolyte material. Characterization of the three-dimensional structure also provides information on the diameter and volume distributions of the polymer and pores, as well as geodesic tortuosity.

How Our Software Was Used

Different imaging methods, including filtering, registration and segmentation were used in Dragonfly to process the SEM images. Threshold segmentation was performed to identify polymer and pore phases, from which a multi-ROI was generated using Dragonfly’s integrated pore network modeling module (OpenPNM). Numerical analyses provided predictions of elastic modulus and ionic conductivity of the bi-continuous electrolyte material.

Author Affiliation

(1) Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Industrial and Materials Science, SE-412 96, Gothenburg, Sweden
(2) KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44, Stockholm, Sweden
(3) Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Applied Mechanics, Pockelsstraße 3, 38106, Braunschweig, Germany