Operando optical tracking of single-particle ion dynamics in batteries.
MetadataShow full item record
Merryweather, A., Schnedermann, C., Jacquet, Q., Grey, C., & Rao, A. (2021). Operando optical tracking of single-particle ion dynamics in batteries.. Nature, 594 (7864), 522-528. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03584-2
Key to advancing lithium-ion battery technology, in particular fast charging, is our ability to follow and understand the dynamic processes occurring in functioning materials under realistic conditions, in real time, and on the nano- to meso-scale. Currently, operando imaging of lithium-ion dynamics requires sophisticated synchrotron X-ray1–7 or electron microscopy8,9 techniques, which do not lend themselves to high- throughput material screening. This limits rapid and rational materials improvements. Here we introduce a simple laboratory-based, optical interferometric scattering microscope10–13 to resolve nanoscopic lithium-ion dynamics in battery materials and apply it to follow cycling of the archetypical cathode material LixCoO2.14,15 We visualise the insulator-metal, solid solution and lithium ordering phase transitions directly and determine rates of lithium insertion and removal at the single-particle level, identifying different mechanisms on charge vs. discharge. Finally, we capture the dynamic formation of domain boundaries between different crystal orientations associated with the monoclinic lattice distortion at Li0.5CoO2.16 The high throughput nature of our methodology allows many particles to be sampled across the entire electrode and, moving forward, will enable exploration of the role of dislocations, morphologies and cycling rate on battery degradation. The generality of our imaging concept means that it can be applied to study any battery electrode, and more broadly, systems where the transport of ions is associated with electronic or structural changes, including nanoionic films, ionic conducting polymers, photocatalytic materials and memristors.
Is supplemented by: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.70023
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (758826)
EPSRC (via University of Edinburgh) (EP/P007805/1)
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (RF499/2018)
Embargo Lift Date
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03584-2
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/322070
All rights reserved