Characterizing Dynamic Structure in Battery Electrodes by Time-Resolved Cryo-TEM

Research output: NRELPoster


In recent years, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) has enabled high-resolution characterization of sensitive battery materials by minimizing electron beam-induced artifacts and damage. Success of this technique relies on the preparation of thin, rapidly frozen samples, generally by disassembling batteries under inert atmosphere, transferring materials of interest to a TEM grid, and finally plunge freezing into a cryogen. In material degradation studies, this extensive time between electrochemical cycling and cryo-TEM characterization leaves room for structural relaxation, diffusion, and other dynamic processes that make it difficult to precisely correlate the imaged structure with the native structure that evolves during battery cycling or aging. Here, we present a method to integrate battery cycling with fast preparation of electrode samples for cryo-TEM. This enables higher fidelity between the structures characterized and the electrochemical state of interest, which we use to study deformation in silicon nanoparticle anodes for lithium-ion batteries.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2022 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting & Exhibition, 8-13 May 2022, Honolulu, Hawaii

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5K00-82755


  • battery
  • cryo-electron microscopy
  • electrodes


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