Batteries and supercapacitors
Discover how we can help you to ensure the quality of your incoming battery materials, cell performance and cycle life
Around the world, batteries are at the heart of revolutionary innovations – whether that’s in smart mobile devices, pollution-free electric cars, intelligent power management solutions, or mass energy storage systems to complement wind and solar power. So it’s vital that they perform as effectively as possible – and that battery researchers and developers can keep developing solutions to improve this performance even further.
Whether you’re associated with battery research or battery development, our analytical solutions can help you achieve high performance faster and more easily. From Li-ion batteries to emerging technologies such as Na-ion, Li-sulphur, Zn-air, or graphene-based modifications, they’ll help you optimize your materials to achieve the highest battery quality. Our solutions can also be used for graphene supercapacitors, which can supplement batteries in applications that need high power for a short time.
By optimizing factors such as electrode material and slurry with our solutions, you can achieve the highest battery performance – and help enable the innovations that are building a more sustainable, more connected world.
How can I ensure the quality of my electrode materials?
Electrode material quality is influenced by several factors, all of which our solutions can help with:
Particle size: Electrode material particle size plays an important role in battery performance. Particle size variation must usually be regularly measured and optimized to maintain consistent battery performance – ideally, over the course of the production process.
Based on laser diffraction, our Mastersizer 3000 offers the easiest, most accurate way of measuring cathode and anode material particle sizes. And, for industrial process environments, it can be replaced by our Insitec on-line particle size analyser to provide real-time data for process control.
Particle shape: Particle shape in battery electrode materials holds the key to unlocking any given material’s potential to produce the best-performing battery. Specifically, particle shape affects slurry rheology, as well as the packing density, porosity, and uniformity of electrode coatings.
Accordingly, to achieve the highest levels of battery performance, manufacturers must be able to analyze and optimize particle morphology. Our Morphologi 4 optical imaging tool can analyze the size and shape of statistically relevant ensembles of particles in just a few minutes, to empower you with all the critical information you need to optimize your battery slurry.
Crystalline Phase: Crystalline phase refers to the structure of materials at atomic scale – the scale at which ionic or electronic transport happens or is hindered. Crystalline phase composition affects the overall quality of the electrode material and its suitability for battery cell manufacturing. And, when it comes to crystalline phase analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD) is the technique of choice.
Our Aeris compact X-ray diffractometer, an easy to use instrument with superb data quality, can be used to accurately analyze:
- Crystalline phase composition and presence of any residual reactants (for optimizing the calcination process)
- Crystallite size (related to the primary particle size)
- The degree of graphitization in synthetic anode graphite
Chemical composition and impurities: Routinely detecting impurities and changes to elemental composition in cathode and anode materials is essential to ensuring battery quality. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is an alternative to inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectroscopy that can analyze these chemical composition changes and impurities – from only a few ppm all the way up to 100%.
Indeed, for major elements at low percentage levels, XRF provides a simpler and more accurate way of measuring elemental composition than ICP, because it does not require any sample dilution or acid digestion. Many leading battery companies use our benchtop E4 XRF or Zetium WDXRF spectrometers to analyze cathode and precursor materials.
How to monitor and control the electrode particle characteristics?Further Reading
How can I optimize electrode slurry and ensure its stability?
Battery slurry has many components – electrode material, carbon or graphene, polymer binder, and solvent – and their interconnected structure plays an important role in the quality of electrode coatings. While particle size and shape both influence coatings’ packing density and porosity, another important factor to consider is zeta potential. The zeta potential of electrode particles in slurry determines whether the particles are prone to aggregation.
Particles with high zeta potential will repel to form a stable dispersion, whereas low zeta potential will cause particle aggregation. This, in turn, leads to non-uniformity in the electrode coating, resulting in diminished battery performance. Zeta potential also affects the wettability of the metal surface. Our Zetasizer can help you optimize zeta potential to improve the quality of your electrode coatings – with excellent accuracy, repeatability, and consistency.
How can I enhance battery performance with graphene?
In the battery industry, graphene is known to enhance the performance of both cathode and anode materials by providing an electronic conduction network. When modifying cathode material with graphene, zeta potential can significantly affect how the graphene and lithium cathode particles interact.
To help you monitor this, in order to make your graphene enhancement as effective as possible, our Zetasizer can analyze the zeta potential of both graphene and cathode particles. It can also help you adjust Ph values for optimum interaction – so that using graphene will add maximum value to your battery’s performance.
Working with super- and ultra-capacitors?
Graphene or activated-carbon-based supercapacitors complement batteries in applications that need high power for a short time. Supercapacitors are very similar to batteries in material. Indeed, particle size, morphology, phases and interlayers, rheology, and phase changes associated with charge-discharge cycles play an equally important role for supercapacitors as for batteries. And, fortunately, our innovative solutions can all also be used to analyze and improve the performance of supercapacitors.
Focus on Battery Research - the importance of particle size analysisWatch webinar
On-line particle size analyzer
Industry leading particle size analyzer
Compact XRD to measure crystallite size and crystal phase
Particle shape analysis with high statistical accuracy
Platform for XRD, SAXS and in-situ analysis
Benchtop XRF for chemical composition and impurity analysis
WDXRF for high sensitivity and throughput
Nano-particle and zeta potential analysis