Tailoring Interfaces in Solid-State Batteries Using Interfacial Thermochemistry and Band Alignment

Robert E. Warburton, Jae Jin Kim, Shane Patel, Jason D. Howard, Larry A. Curtiss, Chris Wolverton, D. Bruce Buchholz, John T. Vaughey, Paul Fenter, Timothy T. Fister, Jeffrey Greeley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Solid-state lithium ion batteries have enhanced thermal stability compared to batteries using liquid electrolytes. Although their practical implementation is limited by undesired side reactions between the electrode and electrolyte, different modification strategies have been proposed to stabilize these reactive interfaces. These approaches have been primarily based upon bulk materials properties, however, which may not necessarily be representative of the chemistry at the solid/solid interface. Herein, first-principles calculations and X-ray scattering experiments are used to elucidate molecular-level reactivity and develop design principles for tailored interfaces based on surface and interfacial properties. Because of its well-known instability, the interface between the Li metal anode and the lithium lanthanum titanate (LLTO) solid electrolyte is applied as a model system. Density functional theory calculations are used to describe bulk, surface, and interfacial thermochemistry of the Li/LLTO system, and interfacial reconstruction is probed using ab initio molecular dynamics. These simulations of the Li/LLTO interface demonstrate facile decomposition concomitant with reduction of Ti4+ ions. Based on further insights from computational analysis of the surface band edge positions, La2O3 is proposed as an interlayer coating and is shown to provide an energetic barrier for interfacial charge transfer and decomposition reactions from X-ray reflectivity measurements and theoretical calculations. The findings in this work suggest that design strategies based on surface and interfacial properties can be used to kinetically stabilize electrode/electrolyte interfaces in solid-state batteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8447-8459
Number of pages13
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 9 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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