Many battery applications require both, a high energy and a high power density. Reflecting electric vehicles, that represents a high driving range with a fast charging option. To increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, it is common practice to reduce passive material of the battery by producing electrodes with high active material layer thickness and high compaction. However, such thick and compact electrodes exhibit a poor rate capability and impede the wetting with liquid electrolyte[2,3]. 3D laser structuring such as trenching or perforation with a deep ablation of the active material layer is a promising approach to partially overcome the rate performance issues of high energy electrodes[4–6] as well as to improve the wettability. However, ablation of the active material leads to a noticeable loss of capacity. Bolsinger et al. and Enderle et al. reported a “2D”-laser-based surface modification of NCM-based cathodes that enables selective ablation of the surface near binder-additive compound – which in turn reduces the Li-ion transport resistance and enhances the rate capability of the cathodes[8,9].
In this study, this “2D”-process is applied to graphite anodes. To do so, we did an extensive study on adjusting the laser parameters accordingly. As a result, we will show that it is possible to increase the anodes surface roughness without significantly ablating the active material. The surface-near microstructural changes, evaluated by microscopic analysis and white light interferometry are shown and correlated with the electrolyte wetting which can be improved significantly. Additionally, we will present a rate capability test comparing differently modified and pristine anodes indicating that the kinetics of the electrodes benefits at the same time.
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