3D Detection of Lithiation and Lithium Plating in Graphite Anodes during Fast Charging

Alec Ho, Dilworth Parkinson, Donal Finegan, Stephen Trask, Andrew Jansen, Wei Tong, Nitash Balsara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus Citations


A barrier to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is enabling fast charging lithium-ion batteries. At normal charging rates, lithium ions intercalate into the graphite electrode. At high charging rates, lithiation is inhomogeneous, and metallic lithium can plate on the graphite particles, reducing capacity and causing safety concerns. We have built a cell for conducting high-resolution in situ X-ray microtomography experiments to quantify three-dimensional lithiation inhomogeneity and lithium plating. Our studies reveal an unexpected correlation between these two phenomena. During fast charging, a layer of mossy lithium metal plates at the graphite electrode-separator interface. The transport bottlenecks resulting from this layer lead to underlithiated graphite particles well-removed from the separator, near the current collector. These underlithiated particles lie directly underneath the mossy lithium, suggesting that lithium plating inhibits further lithiation of the underlying electrode.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10480-10487
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-80334


  • DVC
  • fast charging
  • heterogeneity
  • lithium plating
  • lithium-ion battery
  • X-ray tomography


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