ZEISS Microscopy

ZEISS Online Symposium : Microscopy for Energy Materials Research and Advanced Battery Characterization

February 1, 2022 | Tuesday | 09.00 AM - 11.30 AM IST

About the Symposium


To solve our global climate and energy challenges, research and development of new innovative battery, fuel cell and solar energy technologies is needed. Teams of material scientists, engineers and chemists around the world are working on developing new energy materials and energy devices with improved lifetime, storage capacity, recharge efficiency and safety. The micro- and nano-structures of these materials and devices are intrinsically linked to the properties and performance. As such, microscopy plays a crucial role in exploring the links between micro- and nano-structure, chemistry and performance in 2D, 3D and 4D.

In the first part of this Energy Materials Research and Advanced Battery Characterization online symposium, we will explore a range of Energy Materials (batteries, fuel cell and solar cells) and latest microscopy techniques and workflows being used in their characterization. We will then have two 30 minutes application focused talks on battery material characterization and battery performance and failure analysis.

The online symposium will finish with an interactive panel discussion with multiple ZEISS experts on microscopy workflows, technologies and challenges in battery characterization.


Session 1 : Overview of the multiscale and multimodal applications of microscopy in Energy Materials Research

Session 1 | 09:00 AM to 10:00 AM IST

Overview of the Multiscale and multimodal applications of microscopy in Energy Materials Research

Dr Stephen Kelly will outline the societal challenges driving energy materials research globally before outlining the multi-scale and multi-model applications and challenges of microscopy in Battery research, Fuel Cells and Solar Cell research. Dr Kelly will introduce a range of microscopy techniques (EM, FIB-SEM, LaserFIB and X-ray Microscopy) and workflows supporting Energy Materials innovations.

Key Learnings

  1. The range of microscopy technologies and new workflows available for Energy Material Research
  2. Some of the unique capabilities used to overcome the multi-scale, multi-dimensional and multi-modal challenges in Energy Material Research

Dr. Stephen Kelly (Solutions Manager, Energy Materials)

Dr. Stephen Kelly is the Market Sector Manager for Energy Materials at Carl Zeiss RMS. After receiving his BS in Engineering Physics from Colorado School of Mines in 2002, he went on to receive his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 2009. He spent 4 years working as a postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory specializing in x-ray microscopy of solar cells and atmospheric aerosols.
He has been working at Carl Zeiss RMS for the last 7 years as an imaging specialist and Sector Manager for the Energy Materials market. He lives in San Francisco, California

Session 2 : The importance of material contrast, low voltage imaging, chemical characterization and 3D nanotomography in Battery Material Characterization

Session 2 | 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM IST

The importance of material contrast, low voltage imaging, chemical characterization and 3D Nano tomography in Battery Material Characterization

To develop the next generation of batteries, understanding the micro- and nano- structural details is crucial. These structures are intrinsically linked to the battery critical properties, such as performance, capacity and lifetime. This 30 minutes presentation will outline the ability of the Gemini column technology in providing Ultra-low kV imaging of beam sensitive separator materials, high contrast imaging of cathode materials and a flexible and easy to operate analytical platform for chemical characterization of batteries.

Key Learnings

  1. The Advantages the Gemini column design provides for battery applications (i.e., Ultra low kV surface imaging, high contrast imaging)
  2. An understanding of the range of chemical characterization techniques available and their advantages for battery research
  3. How 3D nanotomography can provide 3D microstructural understanding into battery research


Mr. Daniel Aloysius (Head of Application, Electron Microscopy, ZEISS India)

Mr. Aloysius Daniel, is the head of electron microscopy applications for ZEISS Microscopy India. He is also the head of ZEISS Microscopy Customer Centers (ZMCC) responsible for establishing ZEISS imaging centers across 3 locations in India . He is a former scientist from Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI), Government of India. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics followed by a master's degree in Nanotechnology specialising in material science.

Session 3 : Battery Performance and Failure Analysis - 3D & 4D non-destructive X-ray microscopy solutions and 2D electrical properties testing

Session 3 | 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM IST

Battery Performance and Failure Analysis: 3D and 4D non-destructive X-ray Microscopy Solutions and 2D electrical properties testing

How well a battery performs and the nature of its failure is governed by the 3D microstructures and how they evolve through time. In this 30 minute talk, we will address how 3D and 4D non-destructive X-ray Microscopy can be used to image the interior microstructures and how they evolve through time

Key Learnings

  1. An understanding of the X-ray Microscope (XRM) technology and its unique Resolution at a Distance for non-destructive 3D imaging
  2. How the XRM technology can be used to understand internal battery microstructure without needing to destroy the sample
  3. How the XRM is being used to deliver insights into the evolution of batteries through multiple charging cycles


Dr. Robin White (Senior Application Development Engineer, ZEISS) 

Dr Robin White is a Senior Applications Development Engineer focusing on developing new technologies and workflows to address multi-scale microscopy challenges in Energy Materials research. Dr White completed his PhD at Simon Fraser University where he used X-ray microscopy and advanced image processing workflows to quantify and understand the degradation of fuel cell systems in situ.

Session 4 : Panel Discussion

Session 4 | 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM IST

Panel Discussion

How multiscale and multimodal microscopy applications can be applied to battery research and development?


Moderator - Shaun Graham 
Panelists - Dr. Stephen Kelly & Mr. Daniel Aloysius

Li-Ion battery cathode showing degradation damage from multiple charging cycles

Cross-section of lithium ion battery containing NCM cathode, ceramic coated separator, and graphite & silicon anode imaged at 1 kV. The material contrast between graphite and silicon is clear and reveals the ceramic coating on both sides of the polymer separator.

NCM622 cathode particle after 500 charge cycles. Contrast from the Low kV image is showing secondary particles within the primary particle and crack development as a result of the aging process

Cross-section image of an uncoated polymer separator membrane from a lithium ion battery imaged at 1kV with the Inlens SE detector. Delicate materials such as this separator must be imaged at low voltages to avoid damaging the intricate structure.

Register for the Symposium