Development of in operando characterization methods for lithium ion battery materials
The successful commercialization of new cathode materials for lithium ion batteries requires an improved and detailed understanding of the correlations between their structure, properties, and performance. Such a correlation will provide a foundation for better understanding the degradation mechanisms and optimized operating conditions for these cathode materials; pairing new battery materials with ideal applications and standardizing the methods by which these materials are evaluated. Lithium incorporated in the matrix of transition metal oxides, such as Ni, Co and/or Mn oxides, are materials of interest for improving capacity and/or power generation of recyclable batteries with applications in energy storage. To meet the cost targets and performance metrics for commercializing new types of cathode materials, we must be able to better understand the fit between cathode materials and operating conditions required by end applications. The proposed research will characterize cathode materials for lithium ion batteries using a variety of spectroscopic analytical techniques in real time with battery cycling to develop a better understanding of how these characteristics influence battery performance under different operating conditions and over time. This will also improve our ability to design cathode materials that meet the cost, durability, and power targets demanded from next generation lithium ion batteries.