The Role of Oxygen in Lithiation and Solid Electrolyte Interphase Formation Processes in Silicon-Based Anodes

Zhifei Li, Caleb Stetson, Sarah Frisco, Steve Harvey, Zoey Huey, Glenn Teeter, Chaiwat Engtrakul, Anthony Burrell, Xiaolin Li, Andriy Zakutayev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Silicon oxides (SiOx) have been considered as promising alternatives to pure Si in high energy anodes in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) due to their improved cycling stability. However, their fundamental lithiation mechanism has not yet been systematically investigated, and potential collateral downsides remain unclear. In this work, we report on the role of oxygen in lithiation/delithiation and solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation processes in SiOx thin film model electrodes with different oxygen contents. We show that the SiOx anodes with higher oxygen content experience smaller volume change and form a thinner and more stable SEI, both of which are beneficial for cycling stability. However, these SiOx anodes also show an irreversible lithiation at around 0.7 V attributed to the reduction of Si oxides, leading to lower first cycle coulombic efficiency that is undesirable for practical applications. Overall, these results offer a balanced perspective on the advantages and disadvantages that oxygen brings to Si-based anodes in LIBs.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number120512
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Electrochemical Society (“ECS”). Published on behalf of ECS by IOP Publishing Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-84414


  • Li-ion batteries
  • lithiation process
  • SEI formation
  • Si thin film electrode
  • silicon oxides anodes


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