Micromanipulators make their mark on fuel cell research

A RESEARCH project at Imperial College London into the characterisation of electrochemical energy devices is making use of micromanipulators from Kleindiek Nanotechnik.

Kleindiek micromanipulator supplied by EM Resolutions deployed at Imperial College

Research associate Dr Farid Tariq leads the study, focussing on improving fuel cells and batteries.

The group applies 3D imaging and advanced quantification of electrochemical device structures at scales approaching just tens of nanometres.

The goal is to understand how porous electrodes operate at these scales, and how this ultimately affects performance in use.

Dr Tariq selected the micromanipulators, supplied by EM Resolutions, UK, to study how microstructure and property relationships interact.

This is combined with detailed structural elucidation through 3D imaging.

This involves the measurement and characterisation of the influence of features within the microstructure.

The aim is to mitigate or reduce sources of failure or degradation, and ultimately make batteries or fuel cells with longer lifetimes and better performance.

Dr Tariq commented: “Some alternative manipulators were too large for the applications we were considering and not tailored to our type of work.

“The alternative was to perform our nano-indentation experiments and correlate those with FIB-SEM imaging.

“I wanted high flexibility of use and deployment, and this was one of the benefits I saw from Kleindiek’s micromanipulators.

“In addition, the work we do with them can be integrated with IQM Elements imaging analysis and quantification software”.

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