Quantifying capacity loss due to solid-electrolyte-interphase layer formation on silicon negative electrodes in lithium-ion batteries

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Charge lost per unit surface area of a silicon electrode due to the formation of solid-electrolyte-interphase (SEI) layer during initial lithiation was quantified, and the species that constitute this layer were identified. Coin cells made with Si thin-film electrodes were subjected to a combination of galvanostatic and potentiostatic lithiation and delithiation cycles to accurately measure the capacity lost to SEI layer formation. While the planar geometry of amorphous thin films allows accurate calculation of surface area, creation of additional surface by cracking was prevented by minimizing the thickness of the Si film. The cycled electrodes were analyzed with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to characterize the composition of the SEI layer. The charge lost due to SEI formation measured from coin cell experiments was found to be in good agreement with the first-cycle capacity loss during the initial lithiation of a Si(100) crystal with planar geometry. The methodology presented in this work is expected to provide a useful practical tool for battery-material developers in estimating the expected capacity loss due to first cycle SEI layer formation and in choosing an appropriate particle size distribution that balances mechanical integrity and the first cycle capacity loss in large volume expansion electrodes for lithium-ion batteries. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Power Sources