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Keywords:

  • batteries;
  • electrochemical cells;
  • pair distribution function analysis;
  • powder diffraction;
  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy;
  • small-angle X-ray scattering

This article presents a versatile easy-to-use electrochemical cell suitable for in operando, in situ measurements of battery materials during electrochemical cycling using a variety of X-ray techniques. Argonne's multi-purpose in situ X-ray (AMPIX) cell provides reliable electrochemical cycling over extended periods owing to the uniform stack pressure applied by rigid X-ray windows and the formation of a high-fidelity hermetic seal. The suitability of the AMPIX cell for a broad range of synchrotron-based X-ray scattering and spectroscopic measurements has been demonstrated with studies at eight Advanced Photon Source beamlines to date. Compatible techniques include pair distribution function analysis, high-resolution powder diffraction, small-angle scattering and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. These techniques probe a broad range of electronic, structural and morphological features relevant to battery materials. The AMPIX cell enables experiments providing greater insight into the complex processes that occur in operating batteries by allowing the electrochemical reactions to be probed at fine reaction intervals with greater consistency (within the charge–discharge cycle and between different methodologies) with potential for new time-dependent kinetic studies or studies of transient species. Representative X-ray and electrochemical data to demonstrate the functionality of the AMPIX cell are presented.