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Imaging and Characterization

High-resolution images and real-time data from world-renowned national user facilities and research centers set Argonne apart.

The smallest defects in a material can profoundly affect its performance. The world-renowned imaging and characterization facilities at Argonne provide unique insights into material structure and device performance. These data, down to the atomic scale, enable Argonne and its partners to characterize commercially promising materials, diagnose manufacturing issues, and shorten the time required to scale up from grams to kilograms.

The Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy national scientific user facility, allows users to see and characterize material changes happening with atomic- or molecular scale resolution. After the APS Upgrade, the hard X-rays will be 500 times brighter, promising as-yet unimagined discoveries in all fields of science. The APS generates data that, when paired with machine learning (ML) models and Argonne’s advanced supercomputers in the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), will result in richer insights about the material and the process. The Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), another DOE national scientific user facility, furthers users’ ability to characterize materials across different length scales by studying them at the extremes of temporal, spatial and energy resolutions. The recent addition of the Ultrafast Electron Microscopy Laboratory means users can see very fast (sub-picosecond) structural and chemical dynamics in materials at the nanoscale.

At the Cell Analysis, Modeling, and Prototyping (CAMP) facility, battery researchers manufacture and test the performance of full-size prototype battery electrodes and cells using state-of-the-art equipment in a dry room environment. The CAMP facility supports the transition of advanced battery materials to industrial production through independent validation and analysis in commercially relevant cell formats. In doing so, Argonne de-risks the material with its partners, accelerates scale-up, and helps qualify the high performance of new materials.