Energy Materials

ZEISS XRM Solutions for Energy Materials

Meeting the world’s growing demand for energy, while minimizing related environmental impacts and maximizing current sources of energy through more efficient technologies, represent some of the greatest materials technical challenges of the next decades. Energy harvesting, conversion and storage require simultaneous knowledge of microstructure and functionality on a range of length scales. ZEISS X-ray microscopy (XRM) solutions provide quantitative non-destructive 3D tomographic insight to study samples in their native (in situ) environments to quantify how microstructures evolve in 3D and 4D (3D + time) from the meso- down to the nanoscale. Data analysis of XRM experiments reveal a wealth of microstructural information in three dimensions including phase fractions, volume specific surface area and tortuosity – all collected non-destructively.

Characterization and Analysis

  • Image the 3D structure of colloidal crystal templated material for improved CO2 capture, non-destructively
  • Track and quantify the 4D change in microstructure using digital volume correlation of commercial Li battery cathode particles inside a coin cell as a function of charge cycle
  • Calculate porosity and tortuosity of porous solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) electrode for use as bulk parameters in simplified one-dimensional numerical models that calculate mass transfer through the pores
  • Locate the transition zone of thermoelectric materials developed for more energy-efficient automotive engines, combining XRM and FIB-SEM
  • Determine local size distribution for solid and pore phase for more accurate diffusion and transport modeling in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs)
  • Explore effect of electro-mechanical response by combining experiment and modeling approach (side-by-side) used to study effect of polydispersity on Li-battery performance
  • Provide realistic nanostructure input to galvanostatic discharge model of LiCo2 cathode
  • Use in situ compression chamber to study effects of chemical treatment and uniform/non-uniform compression of carbon paper gas diffusion layers in in PEFCs

Systems

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ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa

Non-destructive, high resolution (<700 nm spatial, <70 nm voxel) 3D X-ray imaging enables quantification of microstructural evolution in 3D. Unique resolution at distance capabilities enable in situ study of large samples without loss of resolution or contrast.
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ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra

ZEISS Xradia 810 Ultra
Nanoscale X-ray Imaging:
Nanoscale resolution (down to 50 nm spatial, 16 nm voxel) for high precision measurement of microstructural evolution
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Publications
Keywords
fuel cells, lithium-ion battery, super capacitors, catalysts, ceramics, charge, discharge, hydrogen storage media, photocatalysts, electrolyte, solid state, capacity measurement, thermodynamics, digital volume correlation, electrochemical performance