ESM Imaging Technique
Apr 2011Asylum ResearchRequest Info
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., April 25, 2011 — Asylum Research's electrochemical strain microscopy (ESM) imaging technique for its Cypher and MFP-3D atomic force microscopes was developed with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This scanning probe microscopy technique can probe electrochemical reactivity and ionic flows in solids on the sub-10-nm level. It measures ionic currents directly, providing a new tool for mapping electrochemical phenomena on the nanoscale.
The ability to probe electrochemical processes and ionic transport in solids is used in applications for energy generation and storage, ranging from batteries to fuel cells. ESM offers two improvements over other conventional technologies: the resolution to probe nanometer-scale volumes and the ability to decouple ionic from electronic currents.
It provides functional imaging of electrochemical phenomena in volumes millions to a billion times smaller than conventional current-based electrochemical techniques, according to the company. It enables understanding of energy technology and ionic devices on the level of individual grains and defects, thus bridging macroscopic functionalities and atomistic mechanisms and leading to improved energy storage solutions such as batteries with high energy densities and long lifetimes, and fuel cells with high energy densities and efficiencies.
The technique has been demonstrated for a variety of lithium-ion cathode, anode and electrolyte materials as well as oxygen electrolytes and mixed electronic-ionic conductors.