By using phase-field computer simulations, we have investigated the effects of the coherent strain due to the phase separation in the olivine-type LiFePO4. In this system, the coherent elastic-strain energy due to the lattice mismatch between LiFePO4 and FePO4 phases accompanied by insertion and extraction of Li ions is considered to play a crucial role in the phase separation kinetics during the charge/discharge process. The present phase-field micromechanics simulations reveal several significant features of the LiFePO4/FePO4 system accompanying the coherent strain, such as the retardation of the phase separation, the charge rate dependence, the thermodynamic stability of coherent interfaces between dual phases, etc. Nucleation of the new phase is found to be fundamentally unlikely in terms of the elastic strain energy, except in the vicinity of the surface of the particles, and thus the phase separation would be dominated by the spinodal decomposition process. When the nucleus is present precedently, however, the phase separation can proceed in the mixture mode of the domino cascade and spinodal decomposition processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)