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A thorough analysis of the evolution of the voltage profiles of silicon nanoparticle electrodes upon cycling has been conducted. The largest changes to the voltage profiles occur at the earlier stages (> 0.16 V vs Li/Li+) of lithiation of the silicon nanoparticles. The changes in the voltage profiles suggest that the predominant failure mechanism of the silicon electrode is related to incomplete delithiation of the silicon electrode during cycling. The incomplete delithiation is attributed to resistance increases during delithiation, which are predominantly contact and solid electrolyte interface (SEI) resistance. The capacity retention can be significantly improved by lowering delithiation cutoff voltage or by introducing electrolyte additives, which generate a superior SEI. The improved capacity retention is attributed to the reduction of the contact and SEI resistance.

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