Raman Spectroscopy Applied to the Lithium-ion Battery Analysis

Raman image LiCoO2 cathode after a cycling process.

Raman image LiCoO2 cathode after a cycling process, the presence of CoO2 was detected: blue colour corresponds to the presence of amorphous carbon, orange spots shows the distribution of LiCoO2, and red spots corresponds to different concentrations of CoO2.

The Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) are of a great interest for many years as they are a rechargeable type of batteries, contrary to Lithium batteries. They are widely used in all kind of portable electronic devices or cordless tools, and they are used in newly developed electrical cars. As the need for power of all this devices is growing with their complexity, the performances of Li-ion batteries become an issue.

These performances will be influenced by the state of the cathode and the anode. During charging and discharging process the lithium ions travel from one electrode to the other (through the electrolyte) which induces the structural changes of both materials. Ideally all observed changes are reversible, but in some cases, the charging/discharging process can provoke irreversible changes in cathode or anode.

Raman spectroscopy gives a direct answer about structural changes occurring in analysed materials. Being contactless and fast, it does not influence the samples and in case of batteries, allows real-time analysis during charge/discharge cycle. Easy-to-use, but still information-rich, Raman spectroscopy is an excellent tool on several analysis levels, from various R&D needs to automatic quality control measurements.

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