Local Electrical Degradations of Solid-State Electrolyte by nm-Scale Operando Imaging of Ionic and Electronic Transports

Chun-Sheng Jiang, Y. Yin, Harvey Guthrey, Kyusung Park, S.-H. Lee, Mowafak Al-Jassim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


We report on degradation mechanisms of solid-state electrolyte (SSE) based on insights from nm-scale ionic conduction and electronic leakage for solid-state batteries. The significantly different local degradations revealed by nm-scale ionic and electronic transport imaging demonstrate the need for this nm-scale investigation. State-of-the-art lithium-ion conductive glass ceramic (Li2O–Al2O3–SiO2–P2O5–TiO2-GeO2) SSE shows at least two types of degradations spatially separated within the SSE, namely: (1) ionic conduction blocking and slight electronic leaking and (2) highly electronic shunting. Degradation was significantly suppressed by application of a Li-containing polyacrylonitrile thin coating on both sides of the ceramic SSE. With this coating, the ionic conduction was not reduced by the extensive cycling; instead, it improved slightly, although accompanied by a slight increase in electronic leaking. Our nm-scale transport imaging was achieved using an atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based half-cell setup and a logarithmic-scale amplifier with current sensitivity down to the fA (10−15 A) range. This half-cell setup consisting of an AFM-probe/SSE/Li structure can distinguish the ionic from the electronic current by flipping the bias-voltage polarity. This nm-scale operando imaging opens up novel characterization of ionic and electronic transport in the field of solid-state batteries.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 229138
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-76828


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Degradation
  • Ionic and electronic transport
  • Solid-state battery
  • Solid-state electrolyte


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