Characterization of Lithium Ion Battery Materials with Valence Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy

Fernando C. Castro, Vinayak P. Dravid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cutting-edge research on materials for lithium ion batteries regularly focuses on nanoscale and atomic-scale phenomena. Electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) is one of the most powerful ways of characterizing composition and aspects of the electronic structure of battery materials, particularly lithium and the transition metal mixed oxides found in the electrodes. However, the characteristic EELS signal from battery materials is challenging to analyze when there is strong overlap of spectral features, poor signal-to-background ratios, or thicker and uneven sample areas. A potential alternative or complementary approach comes from utilizing the valence EELS features (<20 eV loss) of battery materials. For example, the valence EELS features in LiCoO2 maintain higher jump ratios than the Li-K edge, most notably when spectra are collected with minimal acquisition times or from thick sample regions. EELS maps of these valence features give comparable results to the Li-K edge EELS maps of LiCoO2. With some spectral processing, the valence EELS maps more accurately highlight the morphology and distribution of LiCoO2 than the Li-K edge maps, especially in thicker sample regions. This approach is beneficial for cases where sample thickness or beam sensitivity limit EELS analysis, and could be used to minimize electron dosage and sample damage or contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Fourier-log deconvolution
  • electron energy-loss spectroscopy
  • lithium ion battery
  • valence EELS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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