Advanced 3D Imaging Coupled to Modeling of Fuel Cell and Battery Electrodes

F. Tariq[1], V. Yufit[1], M. Marinescu[1], G. Cui[1], M. Kishimoto[1], N. Brandon[1]
[1]Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Published in 2013

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) and Li-ion batteries (LIB) are electrochemical devices where performance is dependent on reactions inside porous electrode microstructures. Here we use tomographic techniques to probe 3D electrode structures (anodes and cathodes) at micro-nanometer length scales. Subsequently, micro/nano structural changes in electrodes are characterized and quantified. Utilizing 3D electrode data as geometric inputs for thermal, mechanical and fluid coupled numerical models run in COMSOL Multiphysics® 4.3a, revealed that increased strains were located at interfaces and also at microstructure constrictions for both fuel cell and battery electrodes. The results show nano/micro structural changes can affect the performance of electrodes. This combined experimental and modeling approach can help in establishing structure/performance relationships to understand sources of performance degradation.