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Binding energy referencing for XPS in alkali metal-based battery materials research (II): Application to complex composite electrodes

: Oswald, Steffen; Thoss, Franziska; Zier, Martin; Hoffmann, Martin; Jaumann, Tony; Herklotz, Markus; Nikolowski, Kristian; Scheiba, Frieder; Kohl, Michael; Giebeler, Lars; Mikhailova, Daria; Ehrenberg, Helmut

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Batteries 4 (2018), No.3, Art. 36, 19 pp.
ISSN: 2313-0105
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
Fraunhofer IWS ()
XPS; energy reference; lithium; sodium; battery application

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a key method for studying (electro-)chemical changes in metal-ion battery electrode materials. In a recent publication, we pointed out a conflict in binding energy (BE) scale referencing at alkali metal samples, which is manifested in systematic deviations of the BEs up to several eV due to a specific interaction between the highly reactive alkali metal in contact with non-conducting surrounding species. The consequences of this phenomenon for XPS data interpretation are discussed in the present manuscript. Investigations of phenomena at surface-electrolyte interphase regions for a wide range of materials for both lithium and sodium-based applications are explained, ranging from oxide-based cathode materials via alloys and carbon-based anodes including appropriate reference chemicals. Depending on material class and alkaline content, specific solutions are proposed for choosing the correct reference BE to accurately define the BE scale. In conclusion, the different approaches for the use of reference elements, such as aliphatic carbon, implanted noble gas or surface metals, partially lack practicability and can lead to misinterpretation for application in battery materials. Thus, this manuscript provides exemplary alternative solutions.