Energy Generation and Storage

Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) analyses can contribute significantly to a multitude of applications in the energy generation and storage industries, including for the rapidly growing demand for improved battery technologies and the expected switch to a hydrogen economy.

Typical applications can vary from the routine EBSD analysis of electrical steels to the characterisation of more complex structures in battery cathodes. In all cases the combination of high spatial resolution, phase analysis and crystallographic information, often incorporating chemical data from energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), makes EBSD a very powerful tool in this field.

The full range of applications is extremely varied, including the following:

  • Solar cell thin film characterisation (including CIGS and metal halide perovskites)
  • Relating solar cell performance to grain boundary populations
  • Linking battery performance to microstructural changes caused by charge-discharge cycling
  • Investigating hydrogen embrittlement in metal pipes
  • Characterising zircalloy microstructures for nuclear applications
  • Correlating steel textures to electrical properties
EBSD orientation map showing the grain structure in a MAPI-type metal halide perovskite solar cell

EBSD orientation map of a metal halide perovskite (MAPI-type) solar cell sample

Application Notes

Resolving defects and true orientations in CIGS-type solar cells

The performance and efficiency of solar cells are intimately linked to their crystallographic properties on the sub-micrometre scale. This application note shows how the EBSD technique, coupled with advanced pattern matching methods, can be used to resolve dislocation structures, antiphase domain boundaries and true crystallographic orientations in CIGS-type solar cells.

EBSD analysis of Lead Halide Perovskites using Symmetry

Methylammonium Lead Halides (MALHs) are organic crystal compounds used in solar cells, LEDs, LASERs and photodetectors. Recent improvements to EBSD detectors now allows for their characterisation of grain size and texture.

Characterisation of Hydrides in a Zirconium Alloy, by EBSD

Zirconium alloys are used in nuclear reactors owing to their low capture cross-section for thermal neutrons and good mechanical and corrosion properties. However, they suffer from delayed hydrogen cracking (DHC) due to formation of hydride particles. This study shows how EBSD can be used to characterise hydrides in terms of their orientation relationship with the matrix and internal structure and local misorientation.

NCM cathode material characterised using EBSD

Discover how EBSD can be used to obtain grain size and texture information from NCM (nickel, cobalt, manganese) cathode material. By characterising and comparing samples of different cathode materials at different stages of the battery’s lifetime, it's possible to link the performance with the microstructure and improve understanding of how the materials can be optimised.



Improving Li-ion battery performance through materials characterisation

With researches facing significant challenges in improving the performance of Lithium ion batteries, our group of experts explore how material characterisation is key to balancing the essential battery qualities of energy density, power density, cost, safety, and lifetime.

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Powering the future through nano-characterisation

Learn how to characterise Li-based phases for next generation battery development using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) combined with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD). In the webinar, learn how you can monitor materials quality throughout the production process and investigate failure mechanisms and develop solutions.

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Nano-characterisation: driving progress in energy generation & storage

Find out how electron microscopy can be combined with light and scanning-probe microscopy analyses on the identical positions in order to investigate structure-property relationships in optoelectronic devices and how all parts of a Li-ion battery can be characterised.

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EBSD and EDS in the analysis of thin-film solar cells based on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 absorber layers

An important part of the research and development of thin-film solar cells is the characterisation of microstructural and compositional properties of the functional layers.


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