WIAS Preprint No. 1284, (2007)

Phase transition and hysteresis in a rechargeable lithium battery


  • Dreyer, Wolfgang
  • Gaberšček, Miran
  • Jamnik, Janko

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 74A15 74A50 74F25 74N20 74N25 74N30

2008 Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme

  • 81.30.Mh 82.56.Lz 82.45.Fk 82.60.Qr


  • Thermodynamics, Structured surfaces and interfaces, Solid-phase precipitation,, coexistent phases, Chemical and reactive effects, Dynamics of phase, boundaries, Transformations involving diffusion, Problems involving, hysteresis




We represent a model which describes the evolution of a phase transition that occurs in some part of a rechargeable lithium battery during the process of charging/discharging. The model is capable to simulate the hysteretic behavior of the voltage - charge characteristics. During discharging of the battery, the interstitial lattice sites of a small crystalline host system are filled up with lithium atoms and these are released again during charging. We show within the context of a sharp interface model that two mechanical phenomena go along with a phase transition that appears in the host system during supply and removal of lithium. At first the lithium atoms need more space than it is available by the interstitial lattice sites, which leads to a maximal relative change of the crystal volume of about $6%$. Furthermore there is an interface between two adjacent phases that has very large curvature of the order of magnitude 100 m, which evoke here a discontinuity of the normal component of the stress. In order to simulate the dynamics of the phase transitions and in particular the observed hysteresis we establish a new initial and boundary value problem for a nonlinear PDE system that can be reduced in some limiting case to an ODE system.

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