LBNL Report Number
Thin films of lithium nickel oxide were deposited by sputtering and laser ablation from targets of pressed nickel oxide and lithium oxide powders. These films were assembled into electrochromic test devices with tungsten oxide as the opposite electrode and a polymer electrolyte. Analysis of the failure modes was carried out at several levels: The composition and structure of the films were examined before and after cycling using a variety of techniques, such as infrared spectroscopy, nuclear-reaction analysis, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, x-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. Absorption of water vapor was found to be a major factor determining the cyclic stability of the films. A new technique is described for incorporating reference electrodes made from an electronically isolated corner into devices. This structure enabled identification of potential problems associated with a particular interface. Finally, some of the devices were disassembled and the components examined. For example, a small quantity of the polymer was extracted and studied by gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Small organic fragments were discovered which correspond to expected weak points in the polymer structures.