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An Analysis of Solid-State Electrodeposition-Induced Metal Plastic Flow and Predictions of Stress States in Solid Ionic Conductor Defects


The use of inorganic solid-ionic conductors with a metal electrode, has been proposed as a way to increase energy density, decrease capacity loss and prevent failure from metal propagation. Current observations of Li-metal electrodes causing cell shorting in solid-state systems have been identified as main obstacles limiting the development of this technology. However, many aspects of the involved phenomenon have not been fully addressed theoretically. In this work, we derive a mathematical model of electrodeposition-induced plastic flow in metal/inorganic solid-conductor systems. We use a semi-analytical solution to derive pressure increase expressions at metal protrusions and assess the possibility of fracture. The results give flow solutions analogous to laminar channel flow. The solutions also show how taking into account a boundary traction potential from built up pressure, leads to ionic redistribution and effectively screens isolated flaws, making local current focusing an incomplete explanation for observed electrolyte fracture. We show that the boundary traction potential sets a maximum value for the pressure increase that can occur from deposition at an isolated flaw. We derive conditions under which fracture can occur, and quantify the role of ionic conductivity and electrolyte fracture toughness in extending safe operating regimes of solid-state electrolytes with metal electrodes.

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