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Bilge Yildiz1 Gulin Vardar1 Younggyu Kim1 Yet-Ming Chiang1

1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

All-solid-state batteries promise significant safety and energy density advantages over liquid-electrolyte batteries. The interface between the cathode and the solid electrolyte is an important contributor to charge transfer resistance. Strong bonding of solid oxide electrolytes and cathodes requires sintering at elevated temperatures. Knowledge of the temperature dependence of the composition and charge transfer properties of this interface is important for determining the ideal sintering conditions. To understand the interfacial decomposition processes and their onset temperatures, model systems of LiCoO2 (LCO) thin films deposited on cubic Al-doped Li7La3Zr2O12 (LLZO) pellets were studied as a function of temperature using interface-sensitive techniques. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) data indicated significant cation interdiffusion and structural changes starting at temperatures as low as 300 C. La2Zr2O7 and Li2CO3 were identified as decomposition products after annealing at 500 C by synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD). X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) results indicate the presence of also LaCoO3, in addition to La2Zr2O7 and Li2CO3. Based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and depth profiling of the Li distribution upon potentiostatic hold experiments on symmetric LCO|LLZO|LCO cells, the interfaces exhibited significantly increased impedance, up to 8 times that of the as-deposited samples after annealing at 500<span style="font-size:10.8333px"> </span>C. Our results indicate that lower-temperature processing conditions, shorter annealing time scales, and CO2-free environments are desirable for obtaining ceramic cathode-electrolyte interfaces that enable fast Li transfer and high capacity.

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