Cracking predictions of lithium-ion battery electrodes by X-ray computed tomography and modelling

Adam M. Boyce, Emilio Martínez-Pañeda, Aaron Wade, Yeshui Zhang, Josh J. Bailey, Thomas M.M. Heenan, Dan Brett, Paul Shearing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Fracture of lithium-ion battery electrodes is found to contribute to capacity fade and reduce the lifespan of a battery. Traditional fracture models for batteries are restricted to consideration of a single, idealised particle; here, advanced X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging, an electro-chemo-mechanical model and a phase field fracture framework are combined to predict the void-driven fracture in the electrode particles of a realistic battery electrode microstructure. An electrode is shown to exhibit a highly heterogeneous electrochemical and fracture response that depends on the particle size and distance from the separator/current collector. The model enables prediction of elevated cracking due to enlarged cycling voltage windows, cracking as a function of electrode thickness, and increasing damage as the rate of discharge is increased. This framework provides a platform that facilitates a deeper understanding of electrode fracture and enables the design of next-generation electrodes with higher capacities and improved degradation characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number231119
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date19 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

This work was carried out with funding from the Faraday Institution [EP/S003053/1, grant numbers FIRG015, FIRG024 and FIRG025]. PRS would like to acknowledge the Royal Academy of Engineering [CiET1718\59] for financial support.


  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Image-based model
  • Phase field
  • Fracture
  • Electrode
  • Microstructure


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