Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Scientists Capture Lithium-Ion Batteries in Nanoscale Action: New imaging techniques track lithium-ion reactions in real-time, offering clues to engineering more powerful, longer-lasting batteries

This diagram shows the spread of positively charged lithium ions across the custom-built FeF2 nanoparticle. The conversion reaction sweeps rapidly across the surface before proceeding more slowly in a layer-by-layer fashion through the bulk of the particle.
This diagram shows the spread of positively charged lithium ions across the custom-built FeF2 nanoparticle. The conversion reaction sweeps rapidly across the surface before proceeding more slowly in a layer-by-layer fashion through the bulk of the particle.

Abstract:
The cherished portability of many popular electronics, from smart phones to laptops, mostly comes courtesy of lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, these dense and lightweight energy storage devices begin to degrade over time, steadily losing total capacity even when sitting idle on the shelf. Scaling up this promising technology to better power electric vehicles or facilitate grid-scale storage demands battery lifetimes longer than a decade-and fundamental advances in lithium-ion engineering.

Scientists Capture Lithium-Ion Batteries in Nanoscale Action: New imaging techniques track lithium-ion reactions in real-time, offering clues to engineering more powerful, longer-lasting batteries

Upton, NY | Posted on November 26th, 2012

Now, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborating institutions have developed methods of examining lithium-ion reactions in real-time with nanoscale (billionths of a meter) precision, offering unprecedented insights into these crucial materials. The technique uses a novel electrochemical cell and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to track lithium reactions and precisely expose subtle changes that occur in batteries' electrodes over time. The results-published this November in Nature Communications-demonstrate the successful technique and reveal a surprisingly fast lithium conversion process that moves layer-by-layer through individual nanoparticles.

"We've opened a fundamentally new window into this popular technology," said Brookhaven Lab physicist and lead author Feng Wang. "The live, nanoscale imaging may help pave the way for developing longer-lasting, higher-capacity lithium-ion batteries. That means better consumer electronics, and the potential for large-scale, emission-free energy storage."

Lithium ions generate electricity within a battery as they move from a negatively charged electrode to a positive one. A fully charged battery contains all these power-packed ions stored in the first electrode. Once discharged, the process is reversed by applying an external current-often by plugging electronics directly into an outlet-to send those same lithium ions back to that first electrode, recharging the battery. But for all their efficiency, each cycle of discharge/recharge degrades the material's essential structure and ultimate longevity. Preventing this persistent degradation requires insight into a process that plays out on the elusive scale of billionths of a meter.

Previous real-time analyses, using what scientists call in-situ techniques, are primarily limited to studying bulk materials and lack the spatial resolution to truly explore reactions at the nanoscale. Even other TEM techniques, which build high-resolution images based upon the behavior of electron beams passing through a sample, are rarely used to track lithium transport and related chemical changes in real time during the all-important charge/discharge cycling. The new technique can do both-live imaging with nanoscale precision.

In this study, conducted at Brookhaven Lab's Center for Functional Nanomaterials, the scientists custom-built an electrochemical cell to operate inside the TEM. The team then observed the lithium reaction process as it unfolded across iron fluoride (FeF2) nanoparticles, chosen because they have significantly higher lithium capacity than conventional electrodes. These real-time experimental observations, supported by advanced computation, revealed that the lithium ions swept rapidly across the surface of the nanoparticles in a matter of seconds. The transformation then moved slowly through the bulk in a layer-by-layer process that split the compounds into distinct regions.

Imagine watching a fire spread across the surface of a log and then steadily eating its way through the layers of wood-only rather than smoke, the lithium ion reaction forms trails of new molecules. Just as burnt wood reveals fundamental characteristics of fire, the changes in morphology and structure in these individual iron nanoparticles provided crucial information about the lithium reaction mechanisms.

"The entire setup for the in-situ TEM measurements was assembled from commercially available parts and was simple to implement, so we expect to see a widespread use of this technique to study a variety of high-energy electrodes in the near future," Wang said. "We also look forward to adapting this tool to perform more advanced nano-electrochemical measurements with the x-ray nanoprobe at the Lab's forthcoming National Synchrotron Light Source II."

This latest research builds upon two other recent studies: The first, published in ACS Nano, detailed the development of electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) techniques to probe the nanoscale spatial distribution and chemical state of lithium in graphite electrodes. The second, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, used EELS to reveal that the excellent recharging ability in high-capacity conversion electrodes emerges from electron-transport pathways forming upon reaction with lithium.

"Although many questions remain about the true mechanisms behind this conversion reaction, we now have a much more detailed understanding of electron and lithium transport in lithium-ion batteries," said Brookhaven physicist and study coauthor Jason Graetz. "Future studies will focus on the charge reaction in an attempt to gain new insights into the degradation over time that plagues most electrodes, allowing for longer lifetimes in the next generation of energy storage devices."

Additional collaborators on this study included Lijun Wu and Yimei Zhu of Brookhaven Lab, Glenn Amatucci of Rutgers University, and Anton van der Ven and Katsuyo Thornton of the University of Michigan. The research was supported by the Northeastern Center for Chemical Energy Storage, an Energy Frontier Research Center led by Stony Brook University and funded primarily by the DOE's Office of Science.

####

About Brookhaven National Laboratory
One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

Visit Brookhaven Lab's electronic newsroom for links, news archives, graphics, and more at www.bnl.gov/newsroom, follow Brookhaven Lab on Twitter, twitter.com/BrookhavenLab, or find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/BrookhavenLab/.

This work was supported by the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven. CFN is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs) supported by the DOE Office of Science, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute thelargest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit science.energy.gov/bes/suf/user-facilities/nanoscale-science-research-centers/.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Justin Eure
(631) 344-2347

or
Peter Genzer
(631) 344-3174

Copyright © Brookhaven National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Scientific Paper: "Tracking lithium transport and electrochemical reactions in nanoparticles":

Related News Press

News and information

Oxford Instruments announces winners of the 2015 Sir Martin Wood Science Prize for China May 2nd, 2015

Time Dependant Spectroscopy of Microscopic Samples: CRAIC TimePro™ software is used with CRAIC Technologies microspectrometers to measure the kinetic UV-visible-NIR, Raman and fluorescence spectra of microscopic sample areas May 2nd, 2015

ORNL researchers probe chemistry, topography and mechanics with one instrument May 2nd, 2015

Production of Industrial Nano-Membrane for Water, Wastewater Purification Device in Iran May 2nd, 2015

Engineering a better solar cell: UW research pinpoints defects in popular perovskites May 1st, 2015

Laboratories

ORNL researchers probe chemistry, topography and mechanics with one instrument May 2nd, 2015

Artificial photosynthesis could help make fuels, plastics and medicine April 29th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

ORNL researchers probe chemistry, topography and mechanics with one instrument May 2nd, 2015

Making robots more human April 29th, 2015

Artificial photosynthesis could help make fuels, plastics and medicine April 29th, 2015

Research seeks alternatives for reducing bacteria in fresh produce using nanoengineering April 29th, 2015

Discoveries

ORNL researchers probe chemistry, topography and mechanics with one instrument May 2nd, 2015

Novel superconducting undulator provides first x-ray light at ANKA May 1st, 2015

Engineering a better solar cell: UW research pinpoints defects in popular perovskites May 1st, 2015

No Hogwarts invitation required: Invisibility cloaks move into the real-life classroom: A new solid-state device can demonstrate the physical principles of invisibility cloaks without special equipment or magic spells April 30th, 2015

Announcements

Oxford Instruments announces winners of the 2015 Sir Martin Wood Science Prize for China May 2nd, 2015

Nanometrics to Present at the B. Riley & Co. 16th Annual Investor Conference May 2nd, 2015

Time Dependant Spectroscopy of Microscopic Samples: CRAIC TimePro™ software is used with CRAIC Technologies microspectrometers to measure the kinetic UV-visible-NIR, Raman and fluorescence spectra of microscopic sample areas May 2nd, 2015

ORNL researchers probe chemistry, topography and mechanics with one instrument May 2nd, 2015

Energy

Engineering a better solar cell: UW research pinpoints defects in popular perovskites May 1st, 2015

Artificial photosynthesis could help make fuels, plastics and medicine April 29th, 2015

Unique microscopic images provide new insights into ionic liquids April 28th, 2015

ISDC To Showcase Northrop Grumman/Caltech Push Toward Space Solar Power April 28th, 2015

Automotive/Transportation

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 2015

Nanoparticles Used to Improve Mechanical, Thermal Properties of Cellulose Fibers April 23rd, 2015

'Holey' graphene for energy storage: Charged holes in graphene increase energy storage capacity April 22nd, 2015

Expanding the reach of metallic glass April 22nd, 2015

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Unique microscopic images provide new insights into ionic liquids April 28th, 2015

Phonons, arise! Small electric voltage alters conductivity in key materials April 22nd, 2015

New class of 3D-printed aerogels improve energy storage April 22nd, 2015

'Holey' graphene for energy storage: Charged holes in graphene increase energy storage capacity April 22nd, 2015

Research partnerships

Electron chirp: Cyclotron radiation from single electrons measured directly for first time: Method has potential to measure neutrino mass and look beyond the Standard Model of the universe April 29th, 2015

Weighing -- and imaging -- molecules one at a time April 28th, 2015

SUNY Poly and Sematech Announce Air Products Joins Cutting-Edge CMP Center At Albany Nanotech Complex April 28th, 2015

When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more April 28th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project