Solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) at TiO2 electrodes in li-ion batteries: Defining apparent and effective SEI based on evidence from X-ay photoemission spectroscopy and scanning electrochemical microscopy
Ventosa, E. and Madej, E. and Zampardi, G. and Mei, B. and Weide, P. and Antoni, H. and La Mantia, F. and Muhler, M. and Schuhmann, W.
ACS APPLIED MATERIALS AND INTERFACES
Volume: 9 Pages: 3123-3130
The high (de)lithiation potential of TiO2 (ca. 1.7 V vs Li/ Li+ in 1 M Li+) decreases the voltage and, thus, the energy density of a corresponding Li-ion battery. On the other hand, it offers several advantages such as the (de)lithiation potential far from lithium deposition or absence of a solid electrolyte interphase (SEI). The latter is currently under controversial debate as several studies reported the presence of a SEI when operating TiO2 electrodes at potentials above 1.0 V vs Li/Li+. We investigate the formation of a SEI at anatase TiO2 electrodes by means of X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). The investigations were performed in different potential ranges, namely, during storage (without external polarization), between 3.0-2.0 V and 3.0-1.0 V vs Li/Li+, respectively. No SEI is formed when a completely dried and residues-free TiO2 electrode is cycled between 3.0 and 2.0 V vs Li/Li+. A SEI is detected by XPS in the case of samples stored for 6 weeks or cycled between 3.0 and 1.0 V vs Li/Li+. With use of SECM, it is verified that this SEI does not possess the electrically insulating character as expected for a "classic" SEI. Therefore, we propose the term apparent SEI for TiO2 electrodes to differentiate it from the protecting and ef fective SEI formed at graphite electrodes. © 2016 American Chemical Society.