Connolley, T.; Magdysyuk, O.V.; Michalik, S.; Allan, P.K.; Klaus, M.; Kamm, P.H.; Garcia-Moreno, F.; Nelson, J.A.; Wilson, C. V.; Wilson, M. d.: An operando spatially resolved study of alkaline battery discharge using a novel hyperspectral detector and X-ray tomography. Journal of Applied Crystallography 53 (2020), p. 1-10
Open Access Version

An experimental technique is described for the collection of time-resolved X-ray diffraction information from a complete commercial battery cell during discharging or charging cycles. The technique uses an 80  80 pixel 2D energydiscriminating detector in a pinhole camera geometry which can be used with a polychromatic X-ray source. The concept was proved in a synchrotron X-ray study of commercial alkaline Zn–MnO2 AA size cells. Importantly, no modification of the cell was required. The technique enabled spatial and temporal changes to be observed with a time resolution of 20 min (5 min of data collection with a 15 min wait between scans). Chemical changes in the cell determined from diffraction information were correlated with complementary X-ray tomography scans performed on similar cells from the same batch. The clearest results were for the spatial and temporal changes in the Zn anode. Spatially, there was a sequential transformation of Zn to ZnO in the direction from the separator towards the current collector. Temporally, it was possible to track the transformation of Zn to ZnO during the discharge and follow the corresponding changes in the cathode.