Dendrites as climbing dislocations in ceramic electrolytes: Initiation of growth

S. S. Shishvan, N. A. Fleck, R. M. McMeeking, V. S. Deshpande* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We idealise dendrite growth in a ceramic electrolyte by climb of a thick edge dislocation. Growth of the dendrite occurs at constant chemical potential of Li+ at the dendrite tip: the free-energy to fracture and wedge open the electrolyte is provided by the flux of Li+ from the electrolyte into the dendrite tip. This free-energy is dependent on the Li+ overpotential at the dendrite tip and is thereby related to the imposed charging current density. The predicted critical current density agrees with measurements for Li/LLZO/Li symmetric cells: the critical current density decreases with increasing initial length of the dendrite and with increasing electrode/electrolyte interfacial ionic resistance. The simulations also reveal that a void on the cathode/electrolyte interface locally enhances the Li+ overpotential and significantly reduces the critical current density for the initiation of dendrite growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number227989
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date26 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020


  • Ceramic electrolyte
  • Free-energy
  • Lithium dendrite
  • Solid-state battery


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