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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Interfacial properties in energy storage systems studied by soft x-ray absorption spectroscopy and resonant inelastic x-ray scattering.

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Interfacial behaviors and properties play critical roles in determining key practical parameters of electrochemical energy storage systems, such as lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries. Soft x-ray spectroscopy features shallow penetration depth and demonstrates inherent surface sensitivity to characterize the interfacial behavior with elemental and chemical sensitivities. In this review, we present a brief survey of modern synchrotron-based soft x-ray spectroscopy of the interface in electrochemical energy storage systems. The technical focus includes core-level spectroscopy of conventional x-ray absorption spectroscopy and resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS). We show that while conventional techniques remain powerful for probing the chemical species on the surface, today's material research studies have triggered much more demanding chemical sensitivity that could only be offered by advanced techniques such as RIXS. Another direction in the field is the rapid development of various in situ/operando characterizations of complex electrochemical systems. Notably, the solid-state battery systems provide unique advantages for future studies of both the surface/interface and the bulk properties under operando conditions. We conclude with perspectives on the bright future of studying electrochemical systems through these advanced soft x-ray spectroscopic techniques.

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