Unraveling the mechanical origin of stable solid electrolyte interphase

Yao Gao, Xiaoqiong Du, Zhen Hou, Xi Shen, Yiu Wing Mai, Jean Marie Tarascon, Biao Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


The capability of a solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) in accommodating deformation is critical to the electrode integrity. However, the nanoscale thickness and environmental sensitivity of SEI make it challenging to characterize multiple mechanical parameters and identify an appropriate predictor for such capability. Here, we develop a feasible atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based nanoindentation test that circumvents the interference of the anode substrate and allows accurate probing of Young's modulus and elastic strain limit of SEI. The “maximum elastic deformation energy” (U) that an SEI can absorb is proposed to predict the stability of the SEI, as successfully demonstrated in Li/K metal anodes. We show that another asset of U is to provide a rapid and effective means to screen proper electrolytes for the stabilization of Sn and Sb microparticle anodes through building high-U SEIs. Overall, this new indicator, U, offers future directions toward rational design of robust SEIs for advanced anodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1860-1872
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2021


  • anodes
  • atomic force microscopy
  • mechanical property
  • solid electrolyte interphase
  • substrate effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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