In situ stress evolution in Li1+xMn2O4 thin films during electrochemical cycling in Li-ion cells

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Real time monitoring of stress evolution in electrodes during electrochemical cycling can help quantify the driving forces that dictate their mechanical degradation. In the present work, in-situ stress evolution in thin films of spinel Li1+xMn2O4 (LMO) was measured by monitoring the change in the elastic substrate curvature during electrochemical cycling in a specially designed beaker cell in the 3.5-4.3 V (vs. Li/Li+) voltage range. The LMO thin films were prepared using a solution deposition technique and their structures and morphologies were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The stress evolution in the early part of the first delithiation cycle (<4.05 V) was consistent with the XRD data. However, stress evolution during later stages of the first delithiation cycle (>4.05 V) was not consistent with the XRD results, and showed irreversible behavior, suggesting irreversible changes in the electrode. Beyond the first delithiation cycle, the stress evolution was reversible, with a steady buildup of compressive and tensile stress during lithium insertion and extraction, respectively. Measurements on LMO films of varying thicknesses suggest that the first cycle irreversibility in stress response arises primarily from the electrode bulk.

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Journal of the Electrochemical Society