First 3D Nanoscale Observations of Changes in Rechargeable Battery Material During Operation

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have made the first 3D observations of how the structure of a lithium-ion battery anode evolves at the nanoscale in a real battery cell as it discharges and recharges. This research could lead to new ways to engineer battery materials to increase the capacity and lifetime of rechargeable batteries. The researchers captured the microstructural details of an operating battery anode in 3D with nanoscale resolution using a new in-situ micro-battery-cell they developed for synchrotron x-ray nano-tomography. This video shows 3D images of changes in tin particles during the first two charge/discharge cycles of a model lithium-ion battery cell.