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Passivation is the main “observable” effect of a surface reaction that occurs spontaneously onto lithium metal surfaces in all primary Lithium batteries based on a liquid cathode. The corrosion of lithium metal by liquid Thionyl Chloride into lithium ions leads to the formation of a solid protecting layer, the “passivation layer”. This layer helps in preventing further corrosion and more importantly, avoiding any internal short-circuits of the battery. It acts in a similar way to paint protecting against metal corrosion; it protects the cells from discharging on their own and enables their long shelf life.
In the third video of our series, we explain the particularities of passivation and we talk about the factors that are known to have an impact on the passivation effect. And if you’d like to go further, read our article “The 7 most common pitfalls about passivation (and how to avoid them)”
If you’ve missed it, watch the first videos of our series:
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