Nanoindentation for Li-ion batteries: effects of drying temperature and crush test of slurry particles

This application report demonstrates the role of nanoindentation in determining effects of coating formulation changes in battery electrodes. Nanoindentation can also be used to verify mechanical properties of electrodes after drying the electrode slurry, or, to test the compressive strength of slurry particles individually via crush tests.

The nanoindentation method can be used for assessing the effects of various additives in the electrode coating, such as ZnSO4 which is added to the anode coating to improve its mechanical stability and reduce volume changes due to charge-discharge cycles. Nanoindentation can also help in determining whether some production processes can be made more efficient and less energy demanding. For example, using lower temperature in the drying process of the slurry will require less energy for the production of the battery and thus reduce the battery CO2 footprint in the environment. The nanoindentation method is fast and allows efficient generation of large data sets compared to electrochemical methods for characterizing electrodes. Therefore, it is a suitable tool for understanding how the modification of the production process affects the mechanical properties of the coatings. Nanoindentation can also be used for characterization of compression strength of particles that form the slurry which is deposited on the electrodes. In this case the nanoindenter is not used for indentation (penetration) but, rather, as a compression device that can measure force and displacement. A cylindrical flat punch indenter is used for these measurements.
This application report shows two less common applications where nanoindentation is an ideal tool to answer research and production questions.

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