Impact of Graphite Materials on the Lifetime of NMC811/Graphite Pouch Cells: Part I. Material Properties, ARC Safety Tests, Gas Generation, and Room Temperature Cycling
A. Eldesoky, M. Bauer, S. Azam, E. Zsoldos, W. Song, R. Weber, S. Hy, M. B. Johnson, M. Metzger, and J. R. Dahn, “Impact of Graphite Materials on the Lifetime of NMC811/Graphite Pouch Cells: Part I. Material Properties, ARC Safety Tests, Gas Generation, and Room Temperature Cycling”, J. Electrochem. Soc., 168 110543 (2021). DOI: 10.1149/1945-7111/ac39fc.
The impact of graphite materials on capacity retention in Li-ion cells is important to understand since Li inventory loss due to SEI formation, and cross-talk reactions between the positive and negative electrodes, are important cell failure mechanisms in Li-ion cells. Here, we investigate the impact of five graphite materials from reputable suppliers on the performance of NMC811/graphite cells. We show that natural graphites (NG) here have a mixture of 3R and 2H phases, while artificial graphites (AG) were 2H only. We find that there are differences between the N2 BET surface area and the electrochemically-accessible area where redox reactions can take place and it is the latter that is most important when optimizing graphite-containing cells. Part I of this 2-part series investigates physical and electrochemical differences between the graphite materials of interest here, as well as room temperature cycling to probe improvements in capacity retention. We demonstrate that advanced AG materials with small accessible surface areas can improve safety, 1st cycle efficiency (FCE) and long-term cycling compared to NG materials with higher accessible surface areas. Part II of this work examines elevated temperature cycling, cell swelling, and makes lifetime predictions for the best NMC811/graphite cells.