Bulk-Sensitive Soft X-ray Edge Probing for Elucidation of Charge Compensation in Battery Electrodes

Marcus Fehse*, Christoph J. Sahle, Matteo P. Hogan, Chiara Cavallari, Erik M. Kelder, Maria Alfredsson, Alessandro Longo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


To this day, elucidating the charge transfer process in electrode materials upon electrochemical cycling remains a challenge, primarily due to the complexity of chemical reactions at the electrode surfaces. Here, we present an elegant and reliable method to probe bulk-sensitive soft edges for elucidating anodic and cathodic charge compensation contribution via X-ray Raman scattering spectroscopy. By using a hard X-ray incident beam, this technique circumvents surface limitations and is practically free of self-absorption due to its nonresonant nature. In addition, it does not require complex sample preparation or experimental setups, making it an ideal tool for potential in situ analysis of the electronic structure of electrode materials. In this study, we monitored, for the first time, bulk soft edges of both oxygen and transition metal (iron) of the cathode material Li2FeSiO4 during one complete electrochemical cycle concurrently. Our results reveal that the redox mechanism relies primarily on the iron (cathodic) contribution. Nevertheless, a change in electron confinement of the oxygen suggests its active involvement in the charge compensation process (anodic). Moreover, we were able to support the experimentally observed changes in the electronic structure with ab initio-based simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24396-24403
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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