Elemental and Chemical Mapping of High Capacity Intermetallic Li-ion Anodes with Transmission X-ray Microscopy
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X-ray nanotomography has been applied toward the three-dimensional (3D) imaging of a Li-ion battery alloy anode material (Cu6Sn5), and subsequent segmentation and analysis has been performed to distinguish the alloy material from its constituent components. Follow-on x-ray absorption near edge structure imaging was performed yielding absorption spectra for Cu, Cu6Sn5, and Li2CuSn. Analyses based on these spectra were performed on two-dimensional (2D) images of samples from cycled electrodes to assess chemical composition in Cu-containing phases. The capability to distinguish the different materials within mixed samples suggests that microstructure and composition changes resulting from lithiation and delithiation in Cu6Sn5 may be observed and better understood with 3D x-ray imaging methods. These methods are expected to be applicable to other intermetallic tin alloy electrodes.
Financial support from an NSF Collaborative Research Award (CBET-1438683) is gratefully acknowledged. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. The Advanced Photon Source is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Use of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515.
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