Lithium plating is the deposition of metallic lithium on the surface of the graphite anode. This is one of the most significant degradation mechanisms:
- reduces charge rate capability
- consumes reversible lithium, thus reducing cell capacity
- reduces anode porosity and hence reduces charge and discharge rate
- lithium dendrite formation can lead to an internal short circuit and thermal runaway
Lu et al  show relaxation processes at different state-of-charge (SOC), wherein thermodynamically unstable graphite particles undergo a drastic intra-particle lithium redistribution and inter-particle lithium exchange at intermediate SOCs, whereas the electrode equilibrates much slower at low and high SOCs.
- Lu, X., Lagnoni, M., Bertei, A. et al. Multiscale dynamics of charging and plating in graphite electrodes coupling operando microscopy and phase-field modelling. Nat Commun 14, 5127 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-40574-6