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Department Electrochemical Energy Storage

Flex Saxs Lab (LR 020)

The investigation of the structure-property relationship is crucial for the understanding of energy materials. Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) is a powerful technique to characterize structures above inter-atomic distances (< 0.5 nm) up to several hundred nanometers. SAXS is an integral technique that provides averaged information over macroscopic sample volumes, complementary to the purely local information that can be obtained with microscopy. SAXS also allows morphological investigations like particle or pore shapes.

The planned instrument FlexSAXS is a modular system that can be upgraded in the future. Its outstanding feature is a  large and adjustable sample chamber (70x70x70 cm) for different exchangeable sample environments and method combinations (UV-vis, Raman, Infrared, physisorption etc.). In order to support this strategic approach in-house expertise of the HZB sample environment group will be included. An open-source software (LabView + Python) allows for easy implementation of custom-made sample environments and the data reduction is done with in-house software. This yields a fully transparent data acquisition and reduction.

FlexSAXS is planned to be included in the X-Ray CoreLab. Besides the scientific cases listed above it will also be a useful tool for the preliminary characterization of samples before synchrotron beam times at BESSY II. An outstanding advantage is that this state-of-art instrument allows for long-term operando experiments (> 10 days) that are not feasible within limited synchrotron beam times. The development of FlexSAXS is decisive in order to maintain the expertise in small angle scattering at HZB, to strengthen the research location in Berlin and to enhance the attractiveness of HZB towards cooperating partners from industry.