Electrochemical energy storage
Argonne researchers using XSD 11-ID-B beamline and 17-BM-B beamline at the APS are exploring how electrochemical reactivity can be impacted by experiment design.
The research includes the X-ray measurements themselves or by common features or adaptations of electrochemical cells that enable X-ray measurements. The research viewpoint has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
The dynamic processes and multi-scale complexities that govern electrochemical energy storage in batteries are most ideally interrogated under simulated operating conditions within an electrochemical cell. Although more experimentally demanding, probing reactions within an operating electrochemical cell offers many advantages over ex-situ or post-mortem analysis of components recovered from dismantled cells.
Operando studies increase measurement efficiency, precision, and reliability by allowing a single, individual system to be probed at fine intervals without risking contamination or relaxation of metastable species. Moreover, operando studies can provide insight into dynamic effects such as rate-dependence of the reaction mechanism or time-dependent processes (e.g., relaxation of the electrode during gravimetric intermittent titration technique studies). Applications of such operando studies are growing rapidly.
Olaf J. Borkiewicz, Kamila M. Wiaderek, Peter J. Chupas and Karena W. Chapman, “Best Practices for Operando Battery Experiments: Influences of X-ray Experiment Design on Observed Electrochemical Reactivity,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b00891. Published Online June 4, 2015.