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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Anionic and cationic redox and interfaces in batteries: Advances from soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy to resonant inelastic scattering


Recent advances in battery science and technology have triggered both the challenges and opportunities on studying the materials and interfaces in batteries. Here, we review the recent demonstrations of soft X-ray spectroscopy for studying the interfaces and electrode materials. The focus of this review is on the recently developed mapping of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (mRIXS) as a powerful probe of battery chemistry with superior sensitivity. Six different channels of soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (sXAS) are introduced for different experimental purposes. Although conventional sXAS channels remain effective tools for quantitative analysis of the transition-metal states and surface chemistry, we elaborate the limitations of sXAS in both cationic and anionic redox studies. Particularly, based on experimental findings in various electrodes, we show that sXAS is unreliable for studying oxygen redox. We then demonstrate the mRIXS as a reliable technique for fingerprinting oxygen redox and summarize several crucial observations. We conclude that mRIXS is the tool-of-choice to study both the practical issue on reversibility of oxygen redox and the fundamental nature of bulk oxygen states. We hope this review clarifies the popular misunderstanding on oxygen sXAS results of oxide electrodes, and establishes a reliable technique for detecting oxygen redox through mRIXS.

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