Modelling and Experimental Validation of Improved Performance of Lithium-Ion Batteries Having Thick Electrodes with Laser-Ablated Micro-Structures

Research output: NRELPresentation


For widespread adoption of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) need to achieve energy densities of >275 Wh/kg, cost less than $100/Wh, and charge to more than 80% capacity within 15 minutes. Increasing the battery electrode thicknesses is one way to increase cell energy densities while also saving on cell manufacturing cost by increasing the ratio of electrode active material to inactive material within each cell. However, increased electrode loading is often accompanied by decreased Li+-ion diffusion across the full thick electrodes. This leads to significant cell polarization that prevents full capacity utilization and accelerates cell degradation, especially at fast charging/discharging rates. The introduction of secondary pore networks in thick battery electrodes alleviates some of the trade-offs between energy and power performance. These microstructures provide low tortuosity pathways for facile Li+-ion diffusion deep into the thick electrodes, diminishing detrimental concentration gradients within the cell. Ultrafast-pulsed laser ablation is a promising method to introduce micro pores or channels in thick battery electrodes as it allows for precise control of pattern geometries, results in minimal damage to the electrode and can be introduced into existing roll-to-roll electrode manufacturing lines. Herein, the limitations of thick planer electrodes and the advanced predictive models to identify optimal electrode patterns for improved cycling performance will be presented. The impact of electrode laser patterning to create secondary pore networks also will be discussed. Materials characterization techniques (SEM-EDS, XRD) were used to explore the affect ultrafast laser ablation had on the electrode materials’ morphology and structure. The improvements in the patterned electrodes’ electrochemical cycling performances and degrees of wetting will be compared to a pristine baseline case. Finally, the discrepancies between experimentally obtained data and model predictions will be explained.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall Meeting, 21-25 August 2022, Chicago, Illinois

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-83856


  • electrode wetting
  • fast charging
  • laser ablation
  • lithium ion battery
  • lithium plating


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