From next-gen smartphones to longer-range electric cars and an improved power grid, better batteries are driving tech innovation. And to push batteries beyond their present-day performance, researchers want to see “under the hood” to learn how the individual ingredients of battery materials behave beneath the surface.
This could ultimately lead to battery improvements such as increased capacity and voltage.
But many of the techniques scientists use can only scratch the surface of what’s at work inside batteries, and a high-sensitivity X-ray technique at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is attracting a growing group of scientists because it provides a deeper, more precise dive into battery chemistry.
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Image: The high-efficiency RIXS system at the Advanced Light Source’s Beamline 8.0.1
Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab