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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Visualization of Charge Distribution in a Lithium Battery Electrode


We describe a method for direct determination and visualization of the distribution of charge in a composite electrode. Using synchrotron X-ray microdiffraction, state-of-charge profiles in-plane and normal to the current collector were measured. In electrodes charged at high rate, the signatures of nonuniform current distribution were evident. The portion of a prismatic cell electrode closest to the current collector tab had the highest state of charge due to electronic resistance in the composite electrode and supporting foil. In a coin cell electrode, the active material at the electrode surface was more fully charged than that close to the current collector because the limiting factor in this case is ion conduction in the electrolyte contained within the porous electrode.

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