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Electron-matter Interactions: From Imaging to Synthesis

Tanya Gupta

Princeton University

My research has primarily focused on characterization methods and testing of electrochemically active materials, from nano-scale to system level, using both simulation and experiments. This talk covers the key findings on two topics: i) Radiation effects in liquid-cell Transmission Electron Microscopy, ii) In-situ metal anode synthesis in batteries. 

Electron microscopy is an integral part of material characterization. However, electron beam effects can modify the sample structure and chemistry. While this can be parasitic to the process under investigation, it can also be used to trigger desired effects. Quantification of these radiation effects is essential for accurate assessment and control of the underlying processes. We describe a model for radiolysis in Liquid-cell TEM and discuss its practical implications, especially those involving interactions occurring at liquid/solid interfaces.

A more primitive use of electrons to bias reactions is using electrochemistry. Metals anodes are prepared in-situ in a battery, thus completely eliminating the downstream cost associated with metal extraction. For application in secondary batteries, there are problems like shape change and poor discharge efficiency, which still need to be tackled. Synthesized morphologies of Zinc and Lithium are tested in a complete battery and shown to exhibit promising electrochemical properties.

Created January 3, 2017, Updated October 1, 2018