Selected presentation abstracts, with an informal introduction from the speakers.
Advanced Photon Source, Sector 34-ID_C
My work is on understanding the connection between atoms and the performance of complex systems, like batteries. We’d all like batteries to operate at higher powers with longer lifespans: this would make a huge difference, for example, for electric vehicles. Using an X-ray light source at a DOE lab, we were able to study the makeup of batteries at the atomic level and discovered that imperfections in the atomic structure have a huge impact on battery performance.
While we tend to think of imperfections as bad, in this case the defects allow the material to perform better during high-power operation. Battery manufacturers can now take this information into account when exploring advanced battery designs. Next we hope to make similar breakthrough discoveries also in understanding the performance of fuel cells and catalysts at the atomic level.
3D X-RAY IMAGING OF DEFECT DYNAMICS IN NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIALS
A. Ulvestad1, R. Harder2, and G. B. Stephenson1
1. Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Ave, Argonne, USA
2. Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Ave, Argonne, USA
Nanostructured materials are essential to solving grand challenges in energy storage, environmental sustainability, and global climate stability given their novel properties relative to their bulk counterparts, including size-tunable thermodynamics[1–3]. “Defect engineering”, or the rational design and optimization of desired functionalities through deliberate defect manipulation, can be used to further optimize nanomaterial properties[4–7], but is limited in scope due to an inability of current probes to characterize defect dynamics under operando conditions in three-dimensional (3D) detail. Here I will discuss how Bragg coherent diffractive imaging (BCDI) can reveal the 3D dislocation distribution in single operating battery cathode nanoparticles, in palladium nanoparticles during the hydriding phase transformation, and in silver nanoparticles during dissolution. Our results point to interesting physics in single nanoparticles.
Figure 1: Imaging the hydriding phase transformation in individual palladium nanoparticles. Defects are induced due to strain during the transformation
I am a physicist at Argonne National Lab and I enjoy cycling as well.