Nonpassivated Silicon Anode Surface

Yanli Yin, Elisabetta Arca, Luning Wang, Guang Yang, Manuel Schnabel, Lei Cao, Chuanxiao Xiao, Hongyao Zhou, Ping Liu, Jagjit Nanda, Glenn Teeter, Bryan Eichhorn, Kang Xu, Anthony Burrell, Chunmei Ban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus Citations


A stable solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) has been proven to be a key enabler to most advanced battery chemistries, where the reactivity between the electrolyte and the anode operating beyond the electrolyte stability limits must be kinetically suppressed by such SEIs. The graphite anode used in state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries presents the most representative SEI example. Because of similar operation potentials between graphite and silicon (Si), a similar passivation mechanism has been thought to apply on the Si anode when using the same carbonate-based electrolytes. In this work, we found that the chemical formation process of a proto-SEI on Si is closely entangled with incessant SEI decomposition, detachment, and reparation, which lead to continuous lithium consumption. Using a special galvanostatic protocol designed to observe the SEI formation prior to Si lithiation, we were able to deconvolute the electrochemical formation of such dynamic SEI from the morphology and mechanical complexities of Si and showed that a pristine Si anode could not be fully passivated in carbonate-based electrolytes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)26593-26600
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number23
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-76249


  • carbonate electrolytes
  • silicon anode
  • solid electrolyte interphase
  • surface and lithium-ion battery


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