A primary atomic-scale effect accompanying Li-ion insertion into rechargeable battery electrodes is a significant intercalation-induced change of the unit cell volume of the crystalline material. This generates a variety of secondary multiscale dimensional changes and causes a deterioration in the energy storage performance stability. Although traditional in situ height-sensing techniques (atomic force microscopy or electrochemical dilatometry) are able to sense electrode thickness changes at a nanometre scale, they are much less informative concerning intercalation-induced changes of the porous electrode structure at a mesoscopic scale. Based on a electrochemical quartz-crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring on multiple overtone orders, herein we introduce an in situ hydrodynamic spectroscopic method for porous electrode structure characterization. This new method will enable future developments and applications in the fields of battery and supercapacitor research, especially for diagnostics of viscoelastic properties of binders for composite electrodes and probing the micromechanical stability of their internal electrode porous structure and interfaces.
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