In batteries, energy is stored in tiny particles within the electrodes that individually breathe in and out and chemically evolve as the battery is charged and discharged. Improving the efficiency and lifetime of batteries will require a better understanding of how these particles transform individually and how they interact within their own complex ecosystem and with their surrounding environment.
X-rays from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s synchrotron allow scientists to take photographs of battery materials over a wide range of sizes, down to the size of individual particles and even the size of atoms. In this presentation, SLAC lead scientist Yijin Liu will show photographs of some of these tiny battery components in action. Through this work, we are learning how to redesign batteries from the atoms up.