CXDI imaging reveals possible way to extend Li-ion battery lifetime, capacity
We studied strain evolution in situ at the single particle level under operando conditions during (dis)charging using CXDI. We discovered a surprisingly rich set of phenomena related to strain formation and propagation, coherency strain and striping, and the evolution of the elastic energy landscape with 40 nm spatial resolution and 0.5 femtojoule energy resolution. Going beyond traditional imaging, we used the strain mapping to determine key material properties, including the minimum size for two-phase coexistence and the interfacial energy, and we mapped the asymmetric energy barrier to the structural phase transformation. This approach unlocks a new, powerful way to conduct in situ studies under operando conditions of nanomechanics in many electrochemical energy storage systems at the single particle level.