Mobile devices and electric vehicles are driving demand for batteries with greater capacity, longer lifetime, and increased safety. Much R&D effort focuses on the electrode materials and electrolytes that power the electrochemical reactions in these devices.
Byproducts of these reactions form a solid-electrolyte interphase that results in structural changes. These processes can have a large effect on battery lifetime and even safety. However, it is impossible to examine these interfaces with conventional light or electron microscopy technique. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) may be the only tool that can characterize these structural changes inside an operational battery.
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