In situ TEM study of the Li-Au reaction in an electrochemical liquid cell

Zhiyuan Zeng, Wen I. Liang, Ying-hao Chu, Haimei Zheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We study the lithiation of a Au electrode in an electrochemical liquid cell using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The commercial liquid electrolyte for lithium ion batteries (1 M lithium hexafluorophosphate LiPF6 dissolved in 1:1 (v/v) ethylene carbonate (EC) and diethyl carbonate (DEC)) was used. Three distinct types of morphology change during the reaction, including gradual dissolution, explosive reaction and local expansion/shrinkage, are observed. It is expected that significant stress is generated from lattice expansion during lithium-gold alloy formation. There is vigorous bubble formation from electrolyte decomposition, likely due to the catalytic effect of Au, while the bubble generation is less severe with titanium electrodes. There is an increase of current in response to electron beam irradiation, and electron beam effects on the observed electrochemical reaction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-107
Number of pages13
JournalFaraday Discussions
StatePublished - 24 Jul 2014

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