Do dendrites effect lithium-ion polymer batteries?

I recently came across this video which shows dendrites at a microscopic level durring the charge and discharge cycles of a standard Li-Ion battery.

I have come to understand that the primary difference between Li-Ion and Li-Poly batteries is the electrolyte used between electrodes - Li-Ion using a liquid electrode, and Li-Poly using some type of polymer chain.

Do dendrites form across the polymer the same as the do through a liquid electrolyte?


1 Answer 1


According to this Berkley Labs publication, "Roots of the Lithium Battery Problem: Berkeley Lab Researchers Find Dendrites Start Below the Surface":

Using X-ray microtomography at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), a team led by Nitash Balsara, a faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, observed the seeds of dendrites forming in lithium anodes and growing out into a polymer electrolyte during cycling. It was not until the advanced stages of development that the bulk of dendrite material was in the electrolyte. Balsara and his colleagues suspect that non-conductive contaminants in the lithium anode trigger dendrite nucleation.
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, it seems that preventing dendrite formation in polymer electrolytes depends on inhibiting the formation of subsurface dendritic structures in the lithium electrode,” Balsara says.

So, it would seem that dendrite formation through polymer electrodes is indeed a problem, though it may require a "non-conductive contaminant" to initiate nucleation if these authors are correct.

  • $\begingroup$ What is the definition of dendrite? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Mockingbird , in this context it refers to a kind of crystalline growth. There is a Wikipedia article here that addresses the kind of dendrites discussed above. $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 7:09

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