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Education and Outreach Programs

Glenbrook South High School ESRP 2020

Local Structure Analysis of Niobium-Based Battery Cathodes


  • Students:
    • Kristen Castelino
    • Rafael Crespo
    • Josef Hiller
    • Tomoki Imura
    • Maraya Nikolova
    • Tim Noginsky
    • Eric Sander
    • Anshul Sukhlecha
    • Sufyaan Syed
    • Nathan Vuong
  • Teachers:
    • Jeff Rylander
  • Mentors:
    • Carlo Segre (Illinois Institute of Technology, Advanced Photon Source, Sector 10-BM)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 10: MRCAT

While traditional rechargeable lithium ion batteries are an efficient source of energy, advances in niobium-based batteries have been noted to improve battery capacity and longevity. In order to improve longevity of batteries that undergo hundreds of charging cycles, this experiment investigates potential niobium cathode materials using X-ray spectroscopy. Cathode samples were prepared using raw’ commercial niobium dioxide (NbO2) powder, after ball milling, and with graphite (GNP) added. The resulting material was cast onto electrodes and punched out to prepare half cells with lithium anodes. The coin cells were cycled, starting with a discharge cycle to lithiate the NbO2. Electrodes were then removed from these cells and analyzed using X-ray absorption. The testing of various cathodes improves our understanding of battery capacity over many cycles.

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