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Real time observation of battery charging/discharing at atomic resolution

Huang et al, Science 330, 1515-1520 (2010) (download pdf , or online version);Read a perspective written by Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang, Science 330, 1485 (2010);

Read Nature Materials Editor Dr. Joerg Heber's Blog: How to get rich fast with batteries ;

Watch a Youtube video of a nanowire charging: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0ns6otbC2E

 Watch a TV interview here: http://www.koat.com/video/26630298/detail.html

 

We report the creation of a nanoscale electrochemical device inside a transmission electron microscope—consisting of a single tin dioxide (SnO2) nanowire anode, an ionic liquid electrolyte, and a bulk lithium cobalt dioxide (LiCoO2) cathode—and the in situ observation of the lithiation of the SnO2 nanowire during electrochemical charging. Upon charging, a reaction front propagated progressively along the nanowire, causing the nanowire to swell, elongate, and spiral. The reaction front is a “Medusa zone” containing a high density of mobile dislocations, which are continuously nucleated and absorbed at the moving front. This dislocation cloud indicates large in-plane misfit stresses and is a structural precursor to electrochemically driven solid-state amorphization. Because lithiation-induced volume expansion, plasticity, and pulverization of electrode materials are the major mechanical effects that plague the performance and lifetime of high-capacity anodes in lithium-ion batteries, our observations provide important mechanistic insight for the design of advanced batteries.

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Kejie Zhao's picture

Jianyu,  brilliant work! This will definitely stimulate wide research on mechanical characteristics of energy storage materials!

Kejie

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