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Comparing the Purity of Rolled versus Evaporated Lithium Metal Films Using X-ray Microtomography

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Energy Letters
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1120 to 1124

Here, we present a comparison of lithium metal films produced via rolling and thermal evaporation using synchrotron hard X-ray microtomography. In past studies of rolled lithium metal foils, a large number of C, O, and N impurities were found and identified as the key cause for failure in lithium metal cells. In this comparison, the X-ray tomography data show that the evaporated lithium metal films have an average impurity concentration of 19 particles/mm3 in comparison to 1350 particles/mm3 in the rolled lithium metal. An analysis of the inner substrate/lithium interface and outer lithium surface of the thermally evaporated film shows a much greater concentration of impurities at these interfaces, further emphasizing the importance of interface engineering in producing high-quality lithium metal batteries. We show that, if surface contamination can be avoided, it is possible to obtain lithium films with no impurities detectable by synchrotron hard X-ray tomography.