New American Technology Reveals Internal Particle Movement During Battery Charging

New American Technology Reveals Internal Particle Movement During Battery Charging

Battery performance is critical to electronic devices.

The short charge time and long duration are the expectations of all people for the currently widely used lithium-ion batteries.

Recently, researchers from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University have collaborated to develop a new X-ray microscope (STXM) technology that enables detailed observations of particle activity during charge and discharge of lithium-ion batteries. This may help to develop a more powerful lithium-ion battery.

The research team published a paper in the latest issue of the journal Science. They used the advanced light source from Berkeley Labs to design and manufacture a "Liquid Electron Beam Microscopy Nanoimaging Platform" that can image 30 particles at a time. The researchers stated that the new platform has a greater field of vision and greater penetration than the transmission electron microscope (TEM) used in the past, allowing users to observe some chemical-specific changes in real time.

The research team used this platform to observe and image the lithium iron phosphate particle's activity pattern during charge and discharge, and recorded the evolution of particle chemical composition and chemical reaction rate. They found that the charging process on the surface of the particles is not uniform and will worsen over time.

Theoretically, when the battery is being charged, it is ideal for the positively charged lithium ions to cover the surface of the electrode evenly. However, in reality, this situation is difficult to occur, especially after the battery is aged. The researchers said that the new technology platform allows them to perform real-time imaging of the battery's dynamic activity at a mesoscopic scale. This is difficult but important.

With this technology, they have the ability to analyze the changes in particle chemical composition and current density in real time, study the charge and discharge processes of the battery, and image the internal electrochemical reactions of individual battery particles, which helps to better understand the charging mechanism of the battery. And it helps to optimize battery performance. Currently, the research team is designing a higher-precision X-ray microscope with a target resolution of 1 to 5 nanometers. (Reporter Liu Haiying)

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