High Throughput Ionic and Electronic Transport Probing System

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
14 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Asylum Research Corporation
6310 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA, 93117-3115
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Roger Proksch
(805) 696-6466
Business Contact:
Monteith Heaton
(805) 696-6466
Research Institution:

There currently is no effective, commercially available system for nanoscale probing and testing of battery and fuel cell materials in the low oxygen and humidity environments required for functional measurements. Such a probing system is critically needed to enable researchers to quickly and efficiently evaluate new materials and devices on the nanometer length scale of defects and grain boundaries. This is essential in order to optimize energy storage capacity and lifetimes. Asylum Research and its collaborators propose to design, construct and commercialize a High Throughput Ionic and Electronic Transport Probing System based on Asylums existing Cypher Scanning Probe Microscope platform that will rapidly measure the functional response of energy storage and generation materials and devices. By measuring the response of candidate materials and devices, this system will aid researchers by quickly identifying the materials that have promise in improving material and device energy storage and generation densities and efficiencies, and in rejecting materials that do not show such promise before unnecessary further evaluations are performed. The system is also expected to be used by battery and fuel cell manufacturers to evaluate materials and devices in the manufacturing/production environment. During Phase I, we will provide proof of concept for a small volume, 1 atmosphere pressure, & lt;1ppm O2 and & lt;1ppm H20 environmental chamber integrated onto the Cypher SPM platform. The lack of such an existing system is a critical bottleneck to understanding the basic material science of these energy storage and generation materials on the length scale that really matters below 1 micron down to individual atoms. Furthermore, we will incorporate a high temperature stage for this system that will allow measurements up to and beyond 300C. By integrating these features onto the Cypher platform, we will be able to take full advantage of the advanced, high speed functional imaging that is exclusive to this platform. In addition, the high stability and exquisite sensitivity of the Cypher platform allows routine topographic imaging of atomic point defects. We want to extend this capability to functional atomic resolution. For Phase II, we intend to extend this prototype and its performance into a new AFMbased Probe System that will allow very rapid, highresolution functional and morphological characterization of energy storage materials. The new System will also incorporate all of the advanced environmental controls necessary for handling and imaging these oxygen and humidity sensitive materials. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed probe system is expected to be adopted by energy materials researchers and manufacturers as a test, quality control, and failure analysis platform. It is anticipated that the features offered by the proposed system will speed the progress of research and development of energy storage and generation, speeding and reducing the eventual costs of their development and manufacture. Asylum Research also anticipates that the success of the probe system will require hiring of additional personnel at our factory to manufacture and support the new system.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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