Toward Optimal Performance and In-Depth Understanding of Spinel Li4Ti5O12 Electrodes through Phase Field Modeling

Alexandros Vasileiadis, Niek J.J. de Klerk, Raymond B. Smith, Swapna Ganapathy, Peter Paul R.M.L. Harks, Martin Z. Bazant, Marnix Wagemaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Computational modeling is vital for the fundamental understanding of processes in Li-ion batteries. However, capturing nanoscopic to mesoscopic phase thermodynamics and kinetics in the solid electrode particles embedded in realistic electrode morphologies is challenging. In particular for electrode materials displaying a first order phase transition, such as LiFePO4, graphite, and spinel Li4Ti5O12, predicting the macroscopic electrochemical behavior requires an accurate physical model. Herein, a thermodynamic phase field model is presented for Li-ion insertion in spinel Li4Ti5O12 which captures the performance limitations presented in literature as a function of all relevant electrode parameters. The phase stability in the model is based on ab initio density functional theory calculations and the Li-ion diffusion parameters on nanoscopic nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements of Li-ion mobility, resulting in a parameter free model. The direct comparison with prepared electrodes shows good agreement over three orders of magnitude in the discharge current. Overpotentials associated with the various charge transport processes, as well as the active particle fraction relevant for local hotspots in batteries, are analyzed. It is demonstrated which process limits the electrode performance under a variety of realistic conditions, providing comprehensive understanding of the nanoscopic to microscopic properties. These results provide concrete directions toward the design of optimally performing Li4Ti5O12 electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1705992
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2018


  • active particle fraction
  • density functional theory
  • Li-ion battery
  • LiTiO
  • phase field model


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