Li-ion batteries in electric vehicles are a weak link, as battery capacities have not been able to keep pace with range requirements. Battery capacity fades over time and batteries require to be replaced, a process that has environmental and cost implications. Fading in battery capacity is often attributed to solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation on the graphite anode – In layman’s terms the deposition of metals on the anode. Improvements in battery capacity have not been able to resolve SEI issues.
The University of Amsterdam’s Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences has used the Operando spectroscopy technique in coming to a key conclusion that determines the maximum voltage of the battery cell, beyond which SEI formation suffers a sharp increase.
This knowledge provides the basis for further research that could result in stable high-capacity batteries.