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While purity is often associated with better material performance, some naturally occurring crystal defects at the nanoscale could be leveraged for better energy storage materials.

A study led by Cornell University used an X-ray nanoimaging process, offering an unprecedented view of solid-state electrolytes - a central part of the solid-state battery. The imaging process unveiled previously undetected and unknown crystal defects and dislocations, which are naturally occurring crystallographic imperfections. Furthermore, these defects could be used for the next generation of energy storage materials.

Researchers present their findings in the article "X-ray Nanoimaging of Crystal Defects in Single Grains of Solid-State Electrolyte Li7-3xAlxLa3Zr2O12," appearing in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters, April 29. The study's lead author is Yifei Sun,  a doctoral student at Cornell.

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