Photomicroscopic, electron-microscopic, and surface analytical studies have been conducted on Li(Si)/LiCl • KCl/FeS2 electrochemical cells before and after discharge, and on individual anode and cathode components. Physical and chemical compositional changes were observed at both the anode and cathode interface that have significance in the discharge mechanism. Oxygen-rich species were found at the surface of the FeS2 cathode particles and migration of sulfur away from the cathode during discharge was also observed. Thermal shock of FeS2 single crystals confirmed the tendency for sulfur to move away from the bulk with the application of heat to the surface. Exposure of the Li(Si) alloy to atmosphere and/or thermal shock resulted in the formation of a lithium-rich surface in the carbonate or oxide form. These findings have significance to battery systems that must be stored for long time periods, as well as the possible source of resistive interfaces in charge and discharge cycles.
- electron spectroscopy
- fused salts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry