Advancing the next generation of batteries

October 4, 2017 ZEISS Microscopy

A research group at the University College London is using X-ray microscopy to study the inner-workings of batteries and fuel cells

The Electrochemical Innovation Laboratory (EIL) at University College London (UCL) is using microscopy to study the inner-workings of batteries and fuel cells. ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra enables them to study the evolution of microstructure with down to 50 nm resolution, revealing the fine details of Li-ion batteries in 3D. Combined with the high penetrating power and sub-micron resolution of ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa, the research team at UCL is able to achieve multi-scale results, relating large features in the package to the complex pore pathways within the electrode layers and separators.

3D renderings of the cathode structure of a lithium ion battery with particles (left) and pore network (right), showing the connected pore space (blue) as compared to the isolated porosity (yellow).

“With ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra we can accomplish non-destructive 3D imaging with spatial resolution comparable to the synchrotron sources, achieving important results in a range of disciplines including chemical engineering, materials sciences and earth sciences”, says Francesco Iacoviello, Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL), Chemical Engineering, UCL.

Since X-rays penetrate most objects, the specimens for X-ray microscopy are not “sliced” prior to, or during imaging – consequently it is possible to extend these investigations into the 4th dimension, to explore the evolution of 3D microstructure with time.

Find out more about the EIL here.

See the details on their use of microscopy here.

Find out more on ZEISS X-ray microscopy

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