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Analytical toolkit for the optimization of battery electrode materials

Electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries have a defining influence on their electrochemical performance and are typically manufactured by coating a metal foil substrate with a multi-component slurry made of active electrode particles and conductive additives suspended in a binder solution. Size and shape distribution of electrode particles influences not only the rheology of this slurry in terms of its stability and ease of application, but also defines the quality parameters of the resulting coat like thickness uniformity, packing density and porosity. These, in turn, impact key battery performance parameters, such as ion transfer rate and battery recharge time.

The manufacturing of electrodes for lithium-ion batteries is a complex, multi-step process and presents a significant optimization challenge. Comprehensive analytical characterization with a range of complementary techniques provides a secure foundation for tackling this challenge, bringing value to both the individual components and the multi-component streams. All the techniques reviewed here have a place in the analytical toolkit for battery electrode manufacturers and all can play a vital role in meeting the targets of optimal production efficiency coupled with desirable electrochemical performance.

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