Faraday Characterisation Project

This project is funded by The Faraday Institution to facilitate the UK in becoming the international hub for electrical energy-based research. It is a collaborative project between the University of Oxford (Rob Weatherup) and the University of Manchester (Alex Walton). The aim is to develop new characterisation techniques that can elucidate the nature of processes that occur within battery interfaces, such as the interface between the anode or cathode and the electrolyte. Such processes include the development and growth of the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) during the initial charging and discharging cycles. By cycling the electrochemical cells within sealed, clean vacuum chambers through both in situ and operando methodologies we will be able to detect reactive species that are formed during cycling. Through application of traditional ultra-high vacuum (UHV) surface science techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS), total electron yield X-ray absorption spectroscopy (TEY-XAS) and hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES) we aim to monitor the chemical changes at these battery interfaces during battery operation, and gain a better understanding of the associated reactions.