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Atomic shuffling pintpointed as failure trigger for rechargeable batteries

Atomic shuffling pintpointed as failure trigger for rechargeable batteries

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe



Using transmission electron microscopy, Anmin Nie, a senior postdoctoral researcher in Shahbazian-Yassar’s research group, has documented what can happen to anodes as lithium ions work their way into them, and it is not especially good.

“We call it atomic shuffling,” explained Shahbazian-Yassar, the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Associate Professor in Nanotechnology. “The layered structure of the electrode changes as the lithium goes inside, creating a sandwich structure: there is lots of localized expansion and contraction in the electrode crystals, which helps the lithium blaze a trail through the electrode.”

The atomic shuffling not only helps explain how lithium ions move through the anode, in this case a promising new material called zinc antimonide. It also provides a clue as to why most anodes made of layered materials eventually fail. “We showed that the ions cause a lot of local stress and phase transitions,” Anmin said.

The research was recently published in the journal Nano Letters. The paper entitled ‘Lithiation-Induced Shuffling of Atomic Stacks’ is coauthored by Shahbazian-Yassar, Nie and graduate student Hasti Asayesh-Ardakani of Michigan Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Yingchun Cheng, Yun Han and Udo Schwingenschlogl of King Abdulla University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia; Runzhe Tao, Farzad Mashayet and Robert Klie of the University if Illinois at Chicago; and Sreeram Vaddiraju of Texas A&M University.

The microscopy was conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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www.mtu.edu

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