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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Advances in soft X-ray RIXS for studying redox reaction states in batteries.


Redox (reduction and oxidation) chemistry provides the fundamental basis for numerous energy-related electrochemical devices. Detecting the electrochemical redox chemistry is pivotal but challenging because it requires independent probes of the cationic and anionic redox states at different electrochemical states. The synchrotron-based soft X-ray mapping of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (mRIXS) has recently emerged as a powerful tool for exploring such states in electrochemical devices, especially batteries. High-efficiency mRIXS covers the energy range of the absorption edge with the extra dimension of information on the emitted photon energies. In this frontier article, we review recent representative demonstrations of utilizing soft X-ray mRIXS for detecting the novel chemical state during electrochemical operation and for quantifying the cationic redox reactions through inverse partial fluorescence yield analysis (mRIXS-iPFY). More importantly, the non-divalent states of oxygen in electrodes involving oxygen redox reactions could be reliably captured by mRIXS, with its reversibility quantified by the intensity variation of the characteristic mRIXS feature through a super-partial fluorescence yield analysis (mRIXS-sPFY). These recent demonstrations inspire future perspectives on using mRIXS for studying the complex phenomena in energy materials, with both technical and scientific challenges in RIXS theory, in situ/operando experiments, and spatially resolved RIXS imaging.

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