The superpower behind iron oxyfluoride battery electrodes

April 18, 2013

A team of scientists utilized high-energy X-rays from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory to investigate the fundamental basis for the performance advantage offered by mixed-anion iron oxyfluoride conversion electrodes over electrodes made of simple oxide or fluoride phases.

This research represents the first-of-a-kind application of operando pair distribution function (PDF) methods - which probe the structure of battery electrodes in situ while they are being cycled - to study electrochemical reactions in batteries.

The PDF measurements provide exceptionally precise insight into the atom-atom bond distances, the proportion of each type of atom-atom bond, and how these evolve over dozens of points during the electrochemical reaction.

The findings represent significant milestones in both understanding electrochemical reactions in battery electrodes and in the experimental tools available to investigate such reactions.

For more information, visit the Advanced Photon Source website and the Journal of the American Chemistry Society website.