Three-dimensional morphological measurements of LiCoO2 and LiCoO2/Li(Ni1/3Mn1/3Co1/3)O 2 lithium-ion battery cathodes

Zhao Liu*, J. Scott Cronin, Yu Chen K. Chen-Wiegart, James R. Wilson, Kyle J. Yakal-Kremski, Jun Wang, Katherine T. Faber, Scott A. Barnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The three-dimensional (3D) morphologies of two types of lithium-ion battery cathodes, LiCoO2 (LCO) and LiCoO2/Li(Ni 1/3Mn1/3Co1/3)O2 (LCO/NMC) composites, have been measured using focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) and transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM). TXM measurements were taken at X-ray energies that can provide clear contrast between LCO and NMC particles in the composite cathodes. Multiple three-dimensional image volumes were collected and statistical analyses were done to assess the accuracy and spatial variation of structural parameters including oxide volume fractions, surface areas, and particle size distributions. Comparisons of un-cycled and cycled batteries showed small changes in structure, but spatial and cell-to-cell microstructural variations, found especially in the LCO/NMC cathodes, were large enough to limit the ability to distinguish actual cycling-induced structure changes. The observation of cathode metal cations on the battery anode after cycling may explain, at least in part, the observed ∼30% capacity loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Microstructure
  • Statistical analysis
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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