RadEMSL

EMSL’s radiochemistry facility, RadEMSL, is designed to accelerate scientific discovery and deepen the understanding of the chemical fate and transport of radionuclides in terrestrial and subsurface ecosystems.

The facility offers experimental and computational tools uniquely suited for actinide chemistry studies. The spectroscopic and imaging instruments at this facility are ideally designed for the study of contaminated environmental materials, examination of radionuclide speciation and detection of chemical signatures. RadEMSL houses nuclear magnetic resonance instruments and surface science capabilities, such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron microscopy, electron microprobe, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. RadEMSL users also have access to expert computational, modeling and simulation resources and support.

The facility provides an environment where multiple experimental approaches are encouraged. Investigating problems at an integrated, cross-disciplinary level encourages holistic understanding, which ultimately provides policy makers the information they need to make sound remediation choices.

Like all of EMSL's capabilities, those housed in RadEMSL are available to the scientific community at typically no cost for openly published research. Scientists gain access to instruments and collaborate with onsite microscopy experts through a peer-reviewed proposal process. Research conducted in the annex requires special information and handling. Prior to submitting a proposal, potential users should familiarize themselves with the guidance for using and shipping radioactive material to the annex.

RadEMSL videos on EMSL's YouTube channel - Learn about the individual instruments in the facility and specifically how they advance subsurface and terrestrial ecosystem science.

And don't miss the virtual tour of RadEMSL.

Additional Information:

Instruments

Highlighted Research Applications EMSL's Bruker wide-bore 750 MHz solids/liquids spectrometer is dedicated to radiological and environmental...
Custodian(s): Nancy Washton
The Bruker EMX electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer collects continuous-wave magnetic resonance spectra of free radicals and...
Custodian(s): Eric Walter
Housed in EMSL's RadEMSL (Radiochemistry Annex), the field emission electron microprobe (EMP) enables chemical analysis and imaging of radionuclides...
Custodian(s): Bruce Arey
EMSL's Digital Instruments Radiological BioScope™ Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) allows radiological samples to be examined in fluids or air with...
Custodian(s): Kevin M. Rosso
The environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) is a new-generation SEM that can image samples under controlled environments and temperatures...
Custodian(s): Bruce Arey

Science Highlights

Posted: September 22, 2016
Plutonium is a highly complex element. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University used RadEMSL, EMSL’s...
Posted: March 22, 2016
The Science A recent study examined in unprecedented detail the structural and thermodynamic properties of uranium (U(v)) containing compounds...
Posted: September 22, 2015
The Science Uranium dioxide (UO2) contains the less soluble and immobile form of uranium in nature, so it is the desired end product of...
Posted: July 31, 2015
Corrosion in uranium dioxide, a major component of fuel rods in nuclear reactors, causes the rods to expand creating problems during routine...
Posted: April 14, 2015
The Science Scientists found the incorporation of neptunium (V) (NpO2+, neptunyl) and uranium (VI) (UO22+, uranyl) in a variety of mineral...

Instruments

There are no related projects at this time.

EMSL’s radiochemistry facility, RadEMSL, is designed to accelerate scientific discovery and deepen the understanding of the chemical fate and transport of radionuclides in terrestrial and subsurface ecosystems.

The facility offers experimental and computational tools uniquely suited for actinide chemistry studies. The spectroscopic and imaging instruments at this facility are ideally designed for the study of contaminated environmental materials, examination of radionuclide speciation and detection of chemical signatures. RadEMSL houses nuclear magnetic resonance instruments and surface science capabilities, such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron microscopy, electron microprobe, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. RadEMSL users also have access to expert computational, modeling and simulation resources and support.

The facility provides an environment where multiple experimental approaches are encouraged. Investigating problems at an integrated, cross-disciplinary level encourages holistic understanding, which ultimately provides policy makers the information they need to make sound remediation choices.

Like all of EMSL's capabilities, those housed in RadEMSL are available to the scientific community at typically no cost for openly published research. Scientists gain access to instruments and collaborate with onsite microscopy experts through a peer-reviewed proposal process. Research conducted in the annex requires special information and handling. Prior to submitting a proposal, potential users should familiarize themselves with the guidance for using and shipping radioactive material to the annex.

RadEMSL videos on EMSL's YouTube channel - Learn about the individual instruments in the facility and specifically how they advance subsurface and terrestrial ecosystem science.

And don't miss the virtual tour of RadEMSL.

Additional Information:

Atomic-Resolution Visualization of Distinctive Chemical Mixing Behavior of Ni, Co and Mn with Li in Layered Lithium Transition

Abstract: 

Capacity and voltage fading of layer structured cathode based on lithium transition metal oxide is closely related to the lattice position and migration behavior of the transition metal ions. However, it is scarcely clear about the behavior of each of these transition metal ions. We report direct atomic resolution visualization of interatomic layer mixing of transition metal (Ni, Co, Mn) and lithium ions in layer structured oxide cathodes for lithium ion batteries. Using chemical imaging with aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) and DFT calculations, we discovered that in the layered cathodes, Mn and Co tend to reside almost exclusively at the lattice site of transition metal (TM) layer in the structure or little interlayer mixing with Li. In contrast, Ni shows high degree of interlayer mixing with Li. The fraction of Ni ions reside in the Li layer followed a near linear dependence on total Ni concentration before reaching saturation. The observed distinctively different behavior of Ni with respect to Co and Mn provides new insights on both capacity and voltage fade in this class of cathode materials based on lithium and TM oxides, therefore providing scientific basis for selective tailoring of oxide cathode materials for enhanced performance.

Citation: 
Yan P, J Zheng, D Lv, Y Wei, J Zheng, Z Wang, S Kuppan, J Yu, L Luo, DJ Edwards, MJ Olszta, K Amine, J Liu, J Xiao, F Pan, G Chen, J Zhang, and CM Wang.2015."Atomic-Resolution Visualization of Distinctive Chemical Mixing Behavior of Ni, Co and Mn with Li in Layered Lithium Transition-Metal Oxide Cathode Materials."Chemistry of Materials 27(15):5393-5401. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b02016
Authors: 
M Chong
Yan P
J Zheng
D Lv
Y Wei
Z Wang
S Kuppan
J Yu
L Luo
DJ Edwards
MJ Olszta
K Amine
J Liu
J Xiao
F Pan
G Chen
J Zhang
CM Wang
Capabilities: 

In-situ Mass Spectrometric Determination of Molecular Structural Evolution at the Solid Electrolyte Interphase in Lithium-Ion

Abstract: 

Dynamic molecular evolution at solid/liquid electrolyte interface is always a mystery for a rechargeable battery due to the challenge to directly probe/observe the solid/liquid interface under reaction conditions, which in essence appears to be similarly true for all the fields involving solid/liquid phases, such as electrocatalysis, electrodeposition, biofuel conversion, biofilm, and biomineralization, We use in-situ liquid secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) for the first time to directly observe the molecular structural evolution at the solid electrode/liquid electrolyte interface for a lithium (Li)-ion battery under dynamic operating conditions. We have discovered that the deposition of Li metal on copper electrode leads to the condensation of solvent molecules around the electrode. Chemically, this layer of solvent condensate tends to deplete the salt anion and with low concentration of Li+ ions, which essentially leads to the formation of a lean electrolyte layer adjacent to the electrode and therefore contributes to the overpotential of the cell. This unprecedented molecular level dynamic observation at the solid electrode/liquid electrolyte interface provides vital chemical information that is needed for designing of better battery chemistry for enhanced performance, and ultimately opens new avenues for using liquid SIMS to probe molecular evolution at solid/liquid interface in general.

Citation: 
Zhu Z, Y Zhou, P Yan, VRS Vemuri, W Xu, R Zhao, X Wang, S Thevuthasan, DR Baer, and CM Wang.2015."In-situ Mass Spectrometric Determination of Molecular Structural Evolution at the Solid Electrolyte Interphase in Lithium-Ion Batteries."Nano Letters 15(9):6170-6176. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b02479
Authors: 
Zhu Zihua
Rui Zhao
Donald R Baer
Chong M Wang
Zhu Z
Y Zhou
P Yan
VRS Vemuri
W Xu
R Zhao
X Wang
S Thevuthasan
DR Baer
CM Wang
Capabilities: 

The Role of Cesium Cation in Controlling Interphasial Chemistry on Graphite Anode in Propylene Carbonate-Rich Electrolytes.

Abstract: 

Propylene carbonate (PC) is seldom used in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) due to its sustained co-intercalation into graphene structure and the eventual graphite exfoliation, despite potential advantages it brings, such as wider liquid range and lower cost. Here we discover that cesium cation (Cs+), originally used to suppress dendrite growth of Li metal anode, directs the formation of solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) on graphitic anode in PC-rich electrolytes through preferential solvation. Effective suppression of PC-decomposition and graphite-exfoliation was achieved when the ratio of ethylene carbonate (EC)/PC in electrolytes was so adjusted that the reductive decomposition of Cs+-(EC)m (1≤m≤2) complex precedes that of Li+-(PC)n (3≤n≤5). The interphase directed by Cs+ is stable, ultrathin and compact, leading to significant improvements in LIB performances. In a broader context, the accurate tailoring of SEI chemical composition by introducing a new solvation center represents a fundamental breakthrough in manipulating interfacial reactions processes that once were elusive.

Citation: 
Xiang H, D Mei, P Yan, P Bhattacharya, SD Burton, AV Cresce, R Cao, MH Engelhard, ME Bowden, Z Zhu, B Polzin, CM Wang, K Xu, J Zhang, and W Xu.2015."The Role of Cesium Cation in Controlling Interphasial Chemistry on Graphite Anode in Propylene Carbonate-Rich Electrolytes."ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 7(37):20687-20695. doi:10.1021/acsami.5b05552
Authors: 
H Xiang
D Mei
P Yan
P Bhattacharya
SD Burton
AV Cresce
R Cao
MH Engelhard
ME Bowden
Z Zhu
B Polzin
CM Wang
K Xu
J Zhang
W Xu
Capabilities: 

Batteries: An Advanced Na-FeCl2 ZEBRA Battery for Stationary Energy Storage Application.

Abstract: 

Sodium-metal chloride batteries, ZEBRA, are considered as one of the most important electrochemical devices for stationary energy storage applications because of its advantages of good cycle life, safety, and reliability. However, sodium-nickel chloride (Na-NiCl2) batteries, the most promising redox chemistry in ZEBRA batteries, still face great challenges for the practical application due to its inevitable feature of using Ni cathode (high materials cost). In this work, a novel intermediate-temperature sodium-iron chloride (Na-FeCl2) battery using a molten sodium anode and Fe cathode is proposed and demonstrated. The first use of unique sulfur-based additives in Fe cathode enables Na-FeCl2 batteries can be assembled in the discharged state and operated at intermediate-temperature (<200°C). The results in this work demonstrate that intermediate-temperature Na-FeCl2 battery technology could be a propitious solution for ZEBRA battery technologies by replacing the traditional Na-NiCl2 chemistry.

Citation: 
Li G, X Lu, JY Kim, VV Viswanathan, KD Meinhardt, MH Engelhard, and VL Sprenkle.2015."Batteries: An Advanced Na-FeCl2 ZEBRA Battery for Stationary Energy Storage Application."Advanced Energy Materials 5(12):Article No.1500357. doi:10.1002/aenm.201570069
Authors: 
H Mark
Li G
X Lu
JY Kim
VV Viswanathan
KD Meinhardt
MH Engelhard
VL Sprenkle
Capabilities: 

Enhanced Performance of Li|LiFePO4 Cells Using CsPF6 as an Electrolyte Additive.

Abstract: 

The practical application of lithium (Li) metal anode in rechargeable Li batteries is hindered by both the growth of Li dendrites and the low Coulombic efficiency (CE) during repeated charge/discharge cycles. Recently, we have discovered that CsPF6 as an electrolyte additive can significantly suppress Li dendrite growth and lead to highly compacted and well aligned Li nanorod structure during Li deposition on copper substrates. In this paper, the effect of CsPF6 additive on the performance of rechargeable Li metal batteries with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode was further studied. Li|LFP coin cells with CsPF6 additive in electrolytes show well protected Li anode surface, decreased resistance, enhanced rate capability and extended cycling stability. In Li|LFP cells, the electrolyte with CsPF6 additive shows excellent long-term cycling stability (at least 500 cycles) at a charge current density of 0.5 mA cm-2 without internal short circuit. At high charge current densities, the effect of CsPF6 additive becomes less significant. Future work needs to be done to protect Li metal anode, especially at high charge current densities and for long cycle life.

Citation: 
Xiao L, X Chen, R Cao, J Qian, H Xiang, J Zheng, J Zhang, and W Xu.2015."Enhanced Performance of Li|LiFePO4 Cells Using CsPF6 as an Electrolyte Additive."Journal of Power Sources 293:1062-1067. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2015.06.044
Authors: 
L Xiao
X Chen
R Cao
J Qian
H Xiang
J Zheng
J Zhang
W Xu
Capabilities: 

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