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Electrode Slurry Particle Density Mapping Using X-ray Radiography

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The internal structure of a porous electrode strongly influences battery performance. Understanding the dynamics of electrode slurry drying could aid in engineering electrodes with desired properties. For instance, one might monitor the dynamic, spatially-varying thickness near the edge of a slurry coating, as it should lead to non-uniform thickness of the dried film. This work examines the dynamic behavior of drying slurry drops consisting of SiOx and carbon black particles in a solution of carboxymethylcellulose and deionized water, as an experimental model of drying behavior near the edge of a slurry coating. An X-ray radiography-based procedure is developed to calculate the evolving spatial distribution of active material particles from images of the drying slurry drops. To the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to use radiography to investigate battery slurry drying, as well as the first to determine particle distributions from radiography images of drying suspensions. The dynamic results are consistent with tomography reconstructions of the static, fully-dried films. It is found that active material particles can rapidly become non-uniformly distributed within the drops. Heating can promote distribution uniformity, but seemingly must be applied very soon after slurry deposition. Higher slurry viscosity is found to strongly restrain particle redistribution.

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