Three-dimensional experimental-scale phase-field modelling of dendrite formation in rechargeable lithium-metal batteries

Marcos E. Arguello* (Corresponding Author), Nicolás A. Labanda, Victor M. Calo, Monica Gumulya, Ranjeet Utikar, Jos Derksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a phase-field based numerical study on the 3D formation of dendrites due to electrodeposition in an experimental-scale lithium metal battery. Small-scale 3D simulations were firstly conducted to elucidate the characteristics and resolution requirements of the numerical framework. Using a four-fold anisotropy model to simulate the growth of lithium deposition, the dependency of dendrite morphology on charging conditions (ch =0.7 [V] and de
-1.4 [V]) on a (larger) experimental-scale metal anode was demonstrated. The dendrite shape was found to shift from a smoother, tree-like formation at the lower applied voltage, to a more spike-like, highly branched structure at the higher voltage. The resulting morphological parameters, such as dendrite propagation rates, volume-specific area, and side branching rates, were compared against published experimental data and found to be comparable to the reported ranges for the electrodeposition of spike- or tree-like metal dendrites. This finding supports our previous observation that dendrite formation is connected to the competition between the lithium cation diffusion and electric migration, generating an uneven distribution of Lit on the electrode surface. This observation also gives insight into dendrite inhibition strategies focusing on enhancing the diffusion of lithium ions to achieve a more uniform concentration field on the anode surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106854
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Energy Storage
Early online date13 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Feb 2023


  • Phase-field modelling
  • Lithium dendrite
  • Inter-electrode distance
  • Surface anisotropy
  • Metalanode battery
  • Finite Element Method


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