Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 3, pp 581–589 | Cite as

Adaptation and improvement of an elemental mapping method for lithium ion battery electrodes and separators by means of laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

  • Patrick Harte
  • Marco Evertz
  • Timo Schwieters
  • Marcel Diehl
  • Martin Winter
  • Sascha NowakEmail author
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Elemental and Molecular Imaging by LA-ICP-MS


In this study, laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was applied to previously aged carbonaceous anodes from lithium ion batteries (LIBs). The electrodes were treated by cyclic aging in a lithium ion cell set-up with LiNi0.5Mn1,5O4 (LNMO) cathodes and hard carbon (HC)/mesocarbon microbead (MCMB) anodes. An inhomogeneous transition metal deposition pattern could be induced by replacing the spacer in a standard coin cell set-up with a washer. The inhomogeneity pattern matched the dimension of the washer depicted by the hole in the center. These transition metal (TM) patterns were used to optimize higher lateral scanning speeds and frequencies on the spatial resolution of the mapping experiments using LA-ICP-MS. Higher scanning speeds had an observable influence on the resolution of the obtained image and an overall saving of 60% with regard to time and gas consumption could be achieved. Additionally, the optimized method was applied to the cathode and separator in order to visualize the distribution and deposition pattern, respectively.


Lithium ion battery LA-ICP-MS Metal migration Lithium distribution 


Funding information

The authors wish to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for funding this work in the project “Elektrolytlabor-4E” (03X4632) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs in North Rhine-Westphalia for funding the project “GrEEn” (W044A).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Harte
    • 1
  • Marco Evertz
    • 1
  • Timo Schwieters
    • 1
  • Marcel Diehl
    • 1
  • Martin Winter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sascha Nowak
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.MEET Battery Research Center, Institute of Physical ChemistryUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Helmholtz-Institute Münster, IEK-12Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHMünsterGermany

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