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How a lithium ion battery charges and discharges?

Apr.13.2020 108

As their name suggests, lithium ion batteries are all about the movement of lithium ions: the ions move one way when the battery charges (when it's absorbing power); they move the opposite way when the battery discharges (when it's supplying power):

1. During charging, lithium ions (yellow circles) flow from the positive electrode (red) to the negative electrode (blue) through the electrolyte (gray). Electrons also flow from the positive electrode to the negative electrode, but take the longer path around the outer circuit. The electrons and ions combine at the negative electrode and deposit lithium there.

2. When no more ions will flow, the battery is fully charged and ready to use.

3. During discharging, the ions flow back through the electrolyte from the negative electrode to the positive electrode. Electrons flow from the negative electrode to the positive electrode through the outer circuit, powering your laptop. When the ions and electrons combine at the positive electrode, lithium is deposited there.

4. When all the ions have moved back, the battery is fully discharged and needs charging up again.

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