March 28, 2023


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This is the internal structure of the battery. It has never been photographed

Behind this hack are representatives of Lancaster University, who have provided information about their achievements in the pages Nature Communications. The method used in the research is called 3DNRM (3D microscope for nanorheology) and allows visualization of the 3D nanostructure inside the batteries.

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This imaging extends from the molecular scale electric double layer to the surface electrochemical layer. However, the visualization being made is not just a matter of curiosity. Thanks to the research carried out, it will be possible to make progress in, among others, energy storage and chemical engineering in the context of biomedical applications.

The research team was headed by Yue Chen, who and her colleagues provided historical observations of the evolution of the entire 3D structure of the permanent electric interface (SEI). This layer forms where the electrode and electrolyte meet and plays a key role in providing batteries with the desired properties.

We found out what the internal structure of the battery looks like thanks to the 3DNRM method

In the course of the analyzes carried out, the scientists were able to identify the most important aspects related to the formation of the SEI layer. Most importantly, the nanostructure of the solid-liquid interfaces is key to the high performance of the battery. Until now, however, characterization of response interfaces in batteries has been difficult due to their inaccessibility.

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The lead author of the study stresses that within the framework of previous studies, understanding the mechanism of SEI formation was the most demanding and at the same time the least understood area. Only thanks to the development of a new method, such as 3DNRM, it was possible to obtain the ability to provide a sufficiently high resolution at the nanoscale, and the ability to work in a battery operating environment.