Memory effect in a lithium-ion battery

Nat Mater. 2013 Jun;12(6):569-75. doi: 10.1038/nmat3623. Epub 2013 Apr 14.


Memory effects are well known to users of nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydride batteries. If these batteries are recharged repeatedly after being only partially discharged, they gradually lose usable capacity owing to a reduced working voltage. Lithium-ion batteries, in contrast, are considered to have no memory effect. Here we report a memory effect in LiFePO4-one of the materials used for the positive electrode in Li-ion batteries-that appears already after only one cycle of partial charge and discharge. We characterize this memory effect of LiFePO4 and explain its connection to the particle-by-particle charge/discharge model. This effect is important for most battery uses, as the slight voltage change it causes can lead to substantial miscalculations in estimating the state of charge of batteries.