Rare Metals

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Atomic-scale structural evolution of electrode materials in Li-ion batteries: a review

  • Yi-Ru Ji
  • Su-Ting Weng
  • Xin-Yan Li
  • Qing-Hua Zhang
  • Lin GuEmail author


Owing to the high spatial resolution at the atomic scale, the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) or scanning transmission electron microscopy is demonstrated as a promising characterization method to unveil the charge storage mechanism of electrode materials in Li-ion batteries. The structural evolution of electrode materials during charge/discharge process can be directly observed by using TEM. The detailed analysis establishes a relationship between the structure of electrode material and battery performance. Herein, we present a brief review of the atomic-scale characterization in Li-ion batteries, including Li (de)insertion mechanism (both cations and anions charge-compensation mechanism), migration of transition metal ions, and surface phase transition. The in-depth microscopic analysis reveals the detailed structural characteristics, which influence the properties of LIBs, establish the structure–function relationship, and facilitate the development of Li-ion batteries.


Li (de)insertion mechanism Migration of transition metal ions Surface structural evolution 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51672307 and 51421002), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) (No. XDB07030200) and the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS (No. QYZDB-SSW-JSC035).


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Copyright information

© The Nonferrous Metals Society of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Physical SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Songshan Lake Materials LaboratoryDongguanChina

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