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


3:00 pm-4:00 pm
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Rhines Hall Room 125
549 Gale Lemerand Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611



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