Mechanical properties of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries
Mechanochemical degradation processes such as the fracture of cathode particles play a major role in limiting the service life of advanced lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). In order to help alleviate the degradation of battery performance, it is necessary to measure the relationship between the degradation of the mechanical properties of cathodes and their concomitant degradation of electrochemical performance. In this review, measurements of the mechanical properties of LIB cathode materials are summarized from the literature, along with the range of experimental methods used in their determination. Dimensional changes that accompany charge and discharge are compared for active materials of olivine, spinel, and layered atomic structures. The sensitivity of indentation hardness, Young's modulus and fracture strength to grain size, porosity, state of charge and charge/discharge history are critically reviewed and discussed with reference to the behavior of conventional, electrically inactive solids. This approach allows for the identification of microstructural properties that dictate the mechanical properties of LIB cathode materials.