Batteries are a vital technology in the shift to renewable energy sources. Vast potential exists to improve on current technologies, providing better capacity, more charge/discharge cycles, lower environmental impact and improved safety. The BaSSET project aims to develop methods and software that will allow us to look inside a working battery and zoom in on the most important components at the atomic scale. The new tools will show how changes in the chemical structure are linked to the practical properties and behaviour of batteries: capacity, cycleability and safety. By understanding how the properties that matter to real users of batteries are linked to and triggered by small chemical events inside the anode, cathode and electrolyte, we can improve existing materials and help to discover new ones. This will both improve the performance of batteries and reduce environmental impact. BaSSET will develop new methods to extract information from the working components of the battery in a highly selective way, cutting out noise from the structural data and allowing us to see subtle changes in the atomic structure. The tools that result from the project will be useful across battery science and could be applied to studies of other functional materials.
This project aims to develop new experimental and data analysis tools to collect analyse operando total scattering data from nano-sized and amorphous battery materials and optimize performance. The proposed approach is based on the following:
1. Using the correlation between battery charge/discharge and the scattering signal for separation and enhancement of scattering signals from specific components of a battery to identify the critical responses associated with battery performance and failure.
2. Create new tools for faster and easier analysis of operando data from difficult and complex materials using straightforward and well tested sample cells and methods.
3. Apply the new tools and methods to novel, high-performance battery materials in operando and in situ experiments