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AFM for Energy Storage and Battery Research

Atomic force microscope image of a lithium battery electrode

With its ability to locally probe electrochemical processes at the nanoscale, atomic force microscopy is well-suited as a characterization tool for energy storage research. A variety of AFM techniques are being widely used to extend the energy density and lifetime of next-generation materials used in storage devices ranging from lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors to fuel cells. While it is perhaps an obvious choice for investigating the effect of nanostructure on device performance and reliability, AFM is also being used to study local ionic transport and reactivity.

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  • Electrochemical Strain Microscopy (ESM) enables studies of ionic transport, intercalation kinetics, and reactivity
  • In-situ studies of oxidation-reduction reactions with the Electrochemical Cell (available for the Cypher ES and MFP Family AFMs
  • High force sensitivity allows imaging of the electric double-layer at the electrode-electrolyte interface
  • Characterization of high-resolution nanostructure, allowing for the optimization of device performance
  • Turnkey glovebox solutions available
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Fuel cells
  • Supercapacitors
  • Ionic liquid double layers
  • Electrode and separator materials
  • Electrode nanostructure
  • Electrochemistry
  • Morphological effects of charge-discharge cycling

"Nanoscopic studies of domain structure dynamics in ferroelectric La:HfO2 capacitors," P. Buragohain, C. Richter, T. Schenk, H. Lu, T. Mikolajick, U. Schroeder, and A. Gruverman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 222901 (2018).

"Non-equilibrium microstructure of Li1.4Al0.4Ti1.6(PO4)3 superionic conductor by spark plasma sintering for enhanced ionic conductivity," S. Duan, H. Jin, J. Yu, E. N. Esfahani, B. Yang, J. Liu, Y. Ren, Y. Chen, L. Lu, X. Tian, S. Hou, and J. Li, Nano Energy 51, 19 (2018).

"Stamping of flexible, coplanar micro‐supercapacitors using MXene inks," C. Zhang, M. P. Kremer, A. Seral‐Ascaso, S.-H. Park, N. McEvoy, B. Anasori, Y. Gogotsi, and V. Nicolosi, Adv. Func. Mater. 28, 1705506 (2018).

"Significantly enhanced energy storage performance promoted by ultimate sized ferroelectric BaTiO3 fillers in nanocomposite films," Y. Hao, X. Wang, K. Bi, J, Zhang, Y. Huang, L. Wu, P. Zhao, K. Xu, M. Lei, and L. Li, Nano Energy 31, 49 (2017).

"Direct observation of the dynamics of single metal ions at the interface with solids in aqueous solutions," M. Ricci, W. Trewby, C. Cafolla, and K. Voïtchovsky, Sci. Rep. 7, 43234 (2017).

"Role of graphene in enhancing the mechanical properties of TiO2/graphene heterostructures," C. Cao, S. Mukherjee, J. Liu, B. Wang, M. Amirmaleki, Z. Lu, J. Y. Howe, D. Perovic, X. Sun, C. V. Singh, Y. Sun, and T. Filleter, Nanoscale 9, 11678 (2017).

"Nanoscale elastic changes in 2D Ti3C2Tx (MXene) pseudocapacitive electrodes," J. Come, Y. Xie, M. Naguib, S. Jesse, S. V. Kalinin, Y. Gogotsi, P. R. C. Kent, and N. Balke, Adv. Energy Mater. 6, 1502290 (2016).

"Influence of polar organic solvents in an ionic liquid containing lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)amide: Effect on the cation–anion interaction, lithium ion battery performance, and solid electrolyte interphase," A. Lahiri, G. Li, M. Olschewski, and F. Endres, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 8, 34143 (2016).

"Topological defects in electric double layers of ionic liquids at carbon interfaces," J. M. Black, M. B. Okatan, G. Feng, P. T. Cummings, S. V. Kalinin, and N. Balke, Nano Energy 15, 737 (2015).

"Nanostructure of the ionic liquid-graphite Stern layer," A. Elbourne, S. McDonald, K. Voïchovsky, F. Endres, G. G. Warr, and R. Atkin, ACS Nano 9, 7608 (2015).

"An in situ AFM study of the evolution of surface roughness for zinc electrodeposition within an imidazolium based ionic liquid electrolyte," J. S. Keist, C. A. Orme, P. K. Wright, and J. W. Evans, Electrochim. Acta 152, 161 (2015).

"Effect of surface transport properties on the performance of carbon plastic electrodes for flow battery applications," X. Sun, T. Souier, M. Chiesa, and A. Vassallo, Electrochim. Acta 148, 104 (2014).

"Ferroelectric barium titanate nanocubes as capacitive building blocks for energy storage applications," S. S. Parizi, A. Mellinger, and G. Caruntu, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 6, 17506 (2014).

"In situ tracking of the nanoscale expansion of porous carbon electrodes," T. M. Arruda, M. Heon, V. Presser, P. C. Hillesheim, S. Dai, Y. Gogotsi, S. V. Kalinin, and N. Balke, Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 225 (2013).

"Bias-dependent molecular-level structure of electrical double layer in ionic liquid on graphite," J. M. Black, D. Walters, A. Labuda, G. Feng, P. C. Hillesheim, S. Dai, P. T. Cummings, S. V. Kalinin, R. Proksch, and N. Balke, Nano Lett. 13, 5954 (2013).

"Miniature environmental chamber enabling in situ scanning probe microscopy within reactive environments," S. S. Nonnenmann and D. A. Bonnell, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 84, 073707 (2013).

"Nanoscale mapping of lithium-ion diffusion in a cathode within an all-solid-state lithium-ion battery by advanced scanning probe microscopy techniques," J. Zhu, L. Lu, and K. Zeng, ACS Nano 7, 1666 (2013).

"Flexible all-solid-state asymmetric supercapacitors based on free-standing carbon nanotube/graphene and Mn3O4 nanoparticle/graphene paper electrodes," H. Gao, F. Xiao, C. B. Ching, and H. Duan, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 4, 7020 (2012).

"Lithographically patterned gold/manganese dioxide core/shell nanowires for high capacity, high rate, and high cyclability hybrid electrical energy storage," W. Yan, J. Y. Kim, W. Xing, K. C. Donavan, T. Ayvazian, and R. M. Penner, Chem. Mater. 24, 2382 (2012).

"Direct mapping of ion diffusion times on LiCoO2 surfaces with nanometer resolution," S. Guo, S. Jesse, S. Kalnaus, N. Balke, C. Daniel, and S. V. Kalinin, J. Electrochem. Soc. 158, A982 (2011).

"Measuring oxygen reduction/evolution reactions on the nanoscale," A. Kumar, F. Ciucci, A. N. Morozovska, S. V. Kalinin, and S. Jesse, Nat. Chem. 3, 707 (2011).

"In situ synthesis of Co3O4/graphene nanocomposite material for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors with high capacity and supercapacitance," B. Wang, Y. Wang, J. Park, H. Ahn, and G. Wang, J. Alloys Compd. 509, 7778 (2011).

"The characterisation of PbO2-coated electrodes prepared from aqueous methanesulfonic acid under controlled deposition conditions," I. Sirés, C. Low, C. P. de León, and F. Walsh, Electrochim. Acta 55, 2163 (2010).

"Mn3O4 nanoparticles embedded into graphene nanosheets: Preparation, characterization, and electrochemical properties for supercapacitors," B. Wang, J. Park, C. Wang, H. Ahn, and G. Wang, Electrochim. Acta 55, 6812 (2010).