EM Resolutions, manufacturers and suppliers of tools and accessories for users of electron microscopes, report on the research of Dr Farid Tariq of Imperial College. He is applying Kleindiek micromanipulators in the characterisation of electrochemical energy devices.
Dr Farid Tariq is a Research Associate at Imperial College where he is part of a research team led by Professor Nigel Brandon in the Department of Earth Science & Engineering focussing on improving fuel cells and batteries. Dr Tariq leads the effort to study 3D multiscale imaging and modelling of these devices. The group is focused on these electrochemical energy devices which range in use from consumer electronics, to cars up to grid level energy storage applications. They apply 3D imaging and advanced quantification of these structures at fine length scales approaching tens of nanometers. The goal is to develop an ability to control and understand how porous electrodes in these devices operate at these fine levels and how this ultimately scales up to observed performance when in use.
Dr Tariq selected micromanipulators from Kleindiek Nanotechnik (EM Resolutions, UK) to help to enable the understanding of microstructure and property relationships together, all at a fine scale. This is combined with 3D imaging to understand the structure in greater depth. In this respect, rather than just observing different features, he is able to measure and characterise their influence within the microstructure. In doing so, the aim is to mitigate or reduce sources of failure or degradation. The end result is to ultimately make batteries or fuel cells with longer lifetimes and better performance.
Describing his reasons for selecting Kleindiek, Dr Tariq said “We have been aware of some small alternative companies for manipulators and others that produce in-situ stages. Some of these were too large for the applications we were considering and not tailored to our type of work. The alternative was to perform our nano-indentation experiments and correlate those with FIB-SEM imaging. My vision is to integrate different instruments and capabilities that we have developed. I wanted high flexibility of use and deployment. This was one of the benefits I saw from Kleindiek's micromanipulators. In addition, the work we do with them can be integrated with IQM Elements imaging analysis and quantification software.”