Energy & Energy Materials

Investigations on a coin cell battery (D. Eastwood, MXIF).

The MXIF has an extensive research programme in energy and energy materials, focusing on the nature and behaviour of both nuclear materials and energy storage and conversion devices such as batteries and fuel cells.  We also have a number of research projects linking to both conventional and unconventional petroleum resources.

Practical design factors such as size, portability, material cost and safety, and the operating conditions (often in extreme temperature or chemical environments) mean that the microstructures of many energy materials can change and degrade during operation. X-ray imaging provides unique opportunities to observe these changes during their evolution. 

Examples of energy-related materials under investigation at the MXIF are:

  • Li-ion batteries
  • Fuel cells
  • Nuclear materials
  • Electrode materials
  • Supercapacitors

The facilities used in the MXIF include synchrotron and lab-based x-ray nano- and microtomography, with access to other electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction techniques. We have a range of purpose-designed rigs for heating and controlling operating atmosphere we can perform correlated measurements with the different techniques at operating conditions.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of research in this area, please contact Peter Lee to discuss your project ideas and requirements.