MSE Seminar: Insights into Battery Operation through X-ray Scattering and Spectroscopy

Date(s) - 09/19/2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Rhines Hall 125



Electrochemical energy storage is an enabling technology as humanity transitions to a carbon-neutral economy. While Li-ion batteries are presently the dominant technology, a diversity of energy storage needs demands a diversity of storage technologies.

My research group is focused on helping to enable these types of batteries through an understanding of their operation and degradation modes, using operando X-ray-based methodologies coupled with electrochemistry.

In this talk, I will discuss several vignettes including (i) demonstrating the Na storage mechanisms and heterogeneous nanopore filling in hard-carbon anodes for Na-ion batteries, (ii) presenting a novel pathway explaining self-discharge in Li-ion cathodes where hydrogenation of layered transition metal oxide induces self-discharge through hydrogen transfer from carbonate solvents to delithiated oxides, (iii) determining that the degradation pathways in Li-ion batteries under extreme fast charging involved predominately heterogenous Li-metal plating in full cells.

One focus of our research is on the quantification of competing electrochemical processes as a way to guide the implementation of methods to improve battery systems.


Mike Toney, Ph.D.

Professor, Chem. & Biological Engineering and MSE
Colorado University, Boulder

Dr. Mike Toney is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering and a Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) at CU Boulder. He received his B.S. from Caltech and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Washington.

After a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, he joined the IBM Research Division to focus on the use of X-ray scattering methods for structure determination for polymer thin films and interfaces. After working at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), he joined CU Boulder in 2020. Toney is a pioneer in the use of X-ray diffraction for in-situ investigations of atomic structure at electrified interfaces and in energy storage and of the molecular structure of organic thin films. He is a Fellow of APS and a Thomson Reuters highly cited researcher in Materials Sciences.