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Home > Publication > Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) at TiO2 Electrodes in Li-ion Batteries. Defining Apparent and Effective SEI Based on Evidence from XPS and SECM.

Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) at TiO2 Electrodes in Li-ion Batteries. Defining Apparent and Effective SEI Based on Evidence from XPS and SECM.

Ventosa E, Madej E, Zampardi G, Mei B, Weide P, Antoni H, La Mantia F, Muhler M, Schuhmann W.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Dec 30. doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b13306. [Epub ahead of print]

The high (de-)lithiation potential of TiO2 (ca. 1.7 V vs. Li/Li+ in 1M Li+) decreases the voltage and, thus, the energy density of a corresponding Li-ion battery. On the other hand it offers several advantages such as the (de-)lithiation potential far from lithium deposition or absence of a solid electrolyte interphase (SEI). The latter is currently under controversial debate as several studies reported the presence of a SEI when operating TiO2 electrodes at potentials above 1.0 V vs. Li/Li+. We investigate the formation of a SEI at anatase TiO2 electrodes by means of X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). The investigations were performed in different potential ranges, namely, during storage (without external polarization), between 3.0 - 2.0 V and 3.0 - 1.0 V vs. Li/Li+, respectively. No SEI is formed when a completely dried and residues-free TiO2 electrode is cycled between 3.0 - 2.0 V vs. Li/Li+. A SEI is detected by XPS in case of samples stored for 6 weeks or cycled between 3.0 - 1.0 V vs. Li/Li+. Using SECM it is verified that this SEI does not possess the electrically insulating character as expected for a "classic" SEI. Therefore, we propose the term apparent SEI for TiO2 electrodes to differentiate it from the protecting and effective SEI formed at graphite electrodes.

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