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Investigating surface morphology and cracking during lithiation of Al anodes

Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, United States

This paper examines morphology and crack formation in Al anodes during lithiation. The morphological evolution during the lithiation of Al foils was studied using optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). X-ray diffraction (XRD) was utilized to evaluate the structural changes, and the uniaxial tensile test was employed to study the mechanical properties of lithiated Al. It was observed that the lithiation of Al consisted of nucleation and growth of LiAl nodules on the surface and their columnar growth in the thickness direction. Cracks were observed to initiate near the nodule peak and at the boundary between nodules. The effect of charge rate on the crystallite size and surface nodule size of LiAl is discussed. It was found that the stiffness and fracture strength of LiAl were lower than those of pristine Al.
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