Air-free TransferFeatured Research

Air-free transfer of air-sensitive solid-state battery electrolyte material

Solid-state batteries are generally non-flammable and have been studied for use in future electric vehicles. However, solid electrolytes are known to be highly sensitive to air and moisture. This prevents the utilization of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to perform high-resolution structural and chemical analysis, as common sample preparation and transfer approaches usually lead to unwanted air exposure. Hummingbird Scientific’s Air-Free Transfer TEM holder allows the air-free transfer of samples from a dry environment (i.e., a glove box)  into the TEM.

Researchers at Toyota Research Institute of North America and the University of Pennsylvania successfully transferred air-sensitive solid-state electrolyte material (Lithium Thiophosphate – LPS) inside the TEM for in-situ structural and spectroscopic analyses. There are clear differences between samples transferred with and without the TEM transfer holder (Figure – Right). The LPS particle transferred using the Air-Free Transfer TEM holder shows no sign of surface oxidation and degradation. The electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) data confirms no significant level of oxygen on the surface. The same LPS material transferred to the TEM in a standard holder without a protective mechanism (Figure – Bottom Right) undergoes surface oxidation resulting in a porous microstructure.

Data Courtesy: Dr. Nikhilendra (Nik) Singh and Dr. Timothy S. Arthur, Toyota Research Institute of North America, James Horwath and Dr. Eric Stach, University of Pennsylvania.