Quantifying the factors limiting rate performance in battery electrodes

Ruiyuan Tian, Sang Hoon Park, Paul J. King, Graeme Cunningham, João Coelho, Valeria Nicolosi, Jonathan N. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


One weakness of batteries is the rapid falloff in charge-storage capacity with increasing charge/discharge rate. Rate performance is related to the timescales associated with charge/ionic motion in both electrode and electrolyte. However, no general fittable model exists to link capacity-rate data to electrode/electrolyte properties. Here we demonstrate an equation which can fit capacity versus rate data, outputting three parameters which fully describe rate performance. Most important is the characteristic time associated with charge/discharge which can be linked by a second equation to physical electrode/electrolyte parameters via various rate-limiting processes. We fit these equations to ~200 data sets, deriving parameters such as diffusion coefficients or electrolyte conductivities. It is possible to show which rate-limiting processes are dominant in a given situation, facilitating rational design and cell optimisation. In addition, this model predicts the upper speed limit for lithium/sodium ion batteries, yielding a value that is consistent with the fastest electrodes in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1933
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

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© 2019, The Author(s).


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