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Three-dimensional imaging of chemical phase transformations at the nanoscale with full-field transmission X-ray microscopy

J. Synchrotron Rad. (2011). 18, 773-781 (

[Electrode] 3D chemical map (~50 nm resolution) of partially discharged Li-ion NiO battery electrode showing NiO (red) and Ni (green) components; blue voxels contain both species. Tomography data collected with SSRL full-field transmission X-ray microscope at multiple energies along the Ni K-edge.

An X-ray imaging set-up developed at SSRL to correlate 3D morphological and chemical changes at high resolution (tens of nm) has been used to investigate battery electrodes. Using hard X-rays penetrating tens of microns, at large fields of view (30 × 30 square microns or more), this is an ideal tool for probing nanoscale phenomena in hierarchical materials such as batteries, fuel cells and catalysts. This technique can provide new perspectives on factors crucial to performance, directing design strategies for next-generation energy materials.

F. Meirer, J. Cabana, Y. Liu, A. Mehta, J. C. Andrews and P. Pianetta