HZB paper appears in special anniversary edition of the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

One example from the paper: operando radiography (A)- (C) shows how sulphur compounds (black features) are deposited on the carbon cathode (gray) of a lithium-sulphur cell during charging and discharging.

A paper on X-ray tomography of various types of batteries has been published as a highlight in the exclusive special edition of the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. Two groups at the HZB along with a team from Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, contributed to the article.

“We selected this article for inclusion because of its novelty, scientific impact, and broadness of appeal”, writes Executive Editor Tom Miller. The work has now been additionally published in a special issue (Synchrotron- and FEL-based X-ray Methods for Battery Studies) celebrating the journal’s 50-year history. The contribution really demonstrates that X-ray tomography is applicable in many ways and promises a substantial leap in knowledge for research on various types of batteries.

X-ray computer tomography combines X-ray images with three-dimensional methods of representation. It shows what processes within the interior of materials take place. Transport processes and chemical reactions in novel battery systems can be investigated in this way. These processes have been insufficiently understood thus far, which is why it is difficult to achieve specific improvements.

The researchers not only present in the article the utility of X-ray tomography for research on batteries in general, they also present numerous concrete examples illustrating the power of tomographic representation. These examples include zinc-air batteries, sodium-air batteries, and metal-sulphur batteries. They show what processes limit the storage capacity of each battery type and why performance falls with the number of charging cycles.

The article title: “In operando x-ray tomography for next-generation batteries: a systematic approach to monitor reaction product distribution and transport processes”.

D. Schroder, C. L. Bender, T. Arlt, M. Osenberg, A. Hilger, S. Risse, M. Ballauff, I. Manke and J. Janek


Published September 9, 2016