Diffraction Anomalous Fine Structure (DAFS) is a unique technique which combines the principles of Anomalous X-ray Diffraction and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy into an effective method of determining local structure information of specific crystallographic sites where the element of interest resides. This is particularly useful in the field of battery materials as it allows to study in details reactions involving atoms of the same element sited in two or more inequivalent crystallographic sites. While the technique is realised and implemented in the physical sciences domain for the study of the magnetic properties of materials on single crystals, its application to battery materials research is less common and not yet fully exploited.
The DPhil will focus on the development of a synchrotron based DAFS experimental methodology for battery materials and the investigation of specific battery problems. The project will involve the investigation of quantitative methods to evaluate the background contribution generated by the X-ray fluorescence emission, the evaluation of different methods of signal extraction and the development of a data analysis approach. Initial work on battery materials will include the study of LiNiO2 and Ni-rich cathodes. Beamtime for the experimental work will be secured through the submission of proposals to Diamond Light Source the UK national synchrotron facility.