Imaging Method Reveals Lithium Batteries in Action
Exactly what goes inside advanced lithium-air batteries as they charge and discharge has always been impossible to observe directly. Now, a new technique developed by MIT researchers promises to change that, allowing study of this electrochemical activity as it happens.
The reactions that take place inside a conventional lithium-air battery are complex, says Yang Shao-Horn, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, who was the senior author of the paper. “We focused on finding out what really happens during charging and discharging,” she says. Doing that required the use of a special kind of high-intensity X-ray illumination at one of only two facilities in the world capable of producing such an experiment: the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California.
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