Elucidating the sodiation mechanism in hard carbon by operando raman spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

  • Julia S. Weaving
  • Alvin Lim
  • Jason Millichamp
  • Tobias P. Neville
  • Daniela Ledwoch
  • Paul F. McMillan
  • Paul R. Shearing
  • Christopher A. Howard
  • Dan J.L. Brett

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • UCL
  • Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

Abstract

Operando microbeam Raman spectroscopy is used to map the changes in hard carbon during sodiation and desodiation in unprecedented detail, elucidating several important and unresolved aspects of the sodiation mechanism. On sodiation a substantial, reversible decrease in G-peak energy is observed, which corresponds directly to the sloping part of the voltage profile and we argue can only be due to steady intercalation of sodium between the turbostratic layers of the hard carbon. The corresponding reversibility of the D-peak energy change is consistent with intercalation rather than representing a permanent increase in disorder. No change in energy of the graphitic phonons occurs over the low-voltage plateau, indicating that intercalation saturates before sodium clusters form in micropores in this region. At the start of the initial sodiation there is no change in G- and D-peak energy as the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) forms. After SEI formation, the background slope of the spectra increases irreversibly due to fluorescence. The importance of in situ/operando experiments over ex situ studies is demonstrated; washing the samples or air exposure causes the G- and D-peaks to revert back to their original states because of SEI removal and sodium deintercalation and confirms no permanent damage to the carbon structure.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7474-7484
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Volume3
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Energy storage, Hard carbon, Operando Raman spectroscopy, Sodiation mechanism, Sodium-ion batteries