Dr. Paul Shearing, Department of Chemical Engineering, University College, London

Exploring Electrochemical Devices Using X-ray Tomography Across Multiple Time & Length Scales
When Oct 16, 2017
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where LR8
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01865-283446
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Modern batteries are one of the transforming technologies of the late 20th century that have revolutionised our lifestyles through the ubiquitous presence of consumer electronics. Future battery applications promise to be even more diverse, ranging from very low power applications in areas such as sensors and biomedicine through to high power technologies that include grid storage and automotive power trains. These increasingly demanding applications require high energy and power density cells to safely and effectively operate under a wide range of environmental and operating conditions such as high temperatures and high charge and discharge rates.

Battery electrode materials are complex hierarchical structures, where heterogeneities at microscopic length scales are thought to drive macroscopic failure mechanisms. As these materials are likely to evolve over time, in response to range of processing and environmental conditions the relationship between the electrode microstructure and the cell performance evolves: understanding how these changes in microstructure can be linked to understanding of degradation and failure is pivotal to improving device lifetime and safety.

The increasingly widespread use of tomography has revolutionized our understanding of these materials; with increasing sophistication researchers have been able to characterize samples over multiple time and length scales from nm to mm and from ms to days. Here we consider examples of our work to explore these materials in three and "four" dimensions, presenting case studies ranging from characterisation of transport phenomena at nano-metre length scales, to exploring battery failure at millisecond time scales. Furthermore we explore how their application with complementary spectroscopy and correlative microscopy tools can be used to inform a comprehensive understanding of these materials, from the atom to the device.