Energy Storage and its Applications

The ground-breaking Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and its Applications at the Universities of Sheffield and Southampton opened in October 2014, funded by the EPSRC, to tackle industrial challenges and develop new technologies and skills that will enable the UK to meet its low carbon targets.

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Open Seminar: Spectro-electrochemistry of battery electrode interfaces

  • Lecture Theatre 22 Hadfield Tower Department of Material Science and Engineering IUniversity of Sheffield UK (map)

Laurence J. Hardwick, Director of the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool

The performance and safety of batteries are affected by the side reactions and passivation layer at the electrode/electrolyte interface. Therefore, it is essential a better understanding of the reactions mechanisms that lead to surface layer formation and the chemistry within both lithium-ion and lithium-oxygen (Li-O 2 ) batteries. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a powerful technique used in operando
conditions to investigate electrode surface interactions under potential control during battery cycling.

Since SERS has limitations in terms of substrate nature and morphology, shell isolated nanoparticle Raman spectroscopy (SHINERS) is an alternative technique for surface analysis. In this case Raman signal amplification comes from the gold core embedded in an ultrathin silica shell (SHINs) of the nanoparticles deposited on the electrode surface, and in principle any type of electrode substrate can be investigated.

Within this presentation I will demonstrate how these Raman techniques can be used to investigate oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) mechanisms in metal-oxygen cells and introduce how complementary techniques, such as surface enhanced infrared spectroscopy, assist in understanding the particular chemical environment at the electrode/electrolyte interface.