Surface Area Determination of Battery Cathode and Anode Materials

Batteries are used to power many consumer products. Optimizing the efficiency of the batteries requires accurate characterization of the materials used to manufacture them.

Fig 1. Batteries are used to power many consumer products. Optimizing the efficiency of the batteries requires accurate characterization of the materials used to manufacture them.

Surface area is a critical property for battery components including anodes, cathodes, and even separator materials. Surface area differences affect performance characteristics such as capacity, impedance, and charging and discharging rates. Deviations from expected surface area can also indicate impurities or undesirable particle size for component manufacturers.

Using the NOVAtouch, the specific surface area (SSA) of the components and raw materials used in manufacturing batteries can be accurately and reproducibly measured. This information allows the developers and manufacturers of batteries to better control the performance, quality, and consistency of the end products.

Which Instrument is Used?

For this analysis of the SSA, also referred to as the BET surface area, the NOVAtouch gas sorption analyzer is recommended. This instrument has integrated sample preparation stations for degassing the sample to prepare the surface for analysis, eliminating the need for external accessory degasser units. The independent operation of the degas stations and the analysis stations allows one set of samples to be analyzed while degassing the next set of samples. The four degas and four analysis stations allows for the high throughput critical in a quality assurance process.

Which Samples are Tested?

Materials used for anodes, cathodes, and separators vary in quality, purity, and textural properties, all of which affect the performance of the battery. For this report we chose two materials used for battery electrodes to illustrate how the surface area can be measured. The samples used are Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese oxide (LiNiCoMnO2), used as a cathode material, and graphite, a typical anode material.

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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Quantachrome Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Quantachrome Instruments.

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