Neutrons are a unique probe for non-destructive structural studies of energy materials and with the European Spallation Source presently under construction in Lund, Sweden, the neutron community aims to develop in situ and operando capacities, and expertise in order to take advantage of the new opportunities ESS will present.
Especially energy storage and energy conversion devices mostly consists of materials with light elements such as hydrogen, lithium, carbon and oxygen, which neutrons have a high sensitivity for and are therefore very important for characterization. Diffraction itself offers the most comprehensive information about the crystal and microstructures of materials. The good neutron penetration depth allows access to the inner section for instance in a prototype energy storage/ conversion device with full functionality or even commercially available products.
Therefore, an overview of recent instrumentational advances such as fast neutron powder diffraction (NPD) measurements and in situ/ in operando NPD measurements is presented in respects to the development of the ErwiN – Energy research with Neutrons – NPD beamline at MLZ, Germany. Furthermore, powder diffraction and quasi elastic neutron scattering data of complex metal hydrides and solid-state Mg-ion conductors are elaborated and unpublished structural details as well as a feasibility study on future applications are presented.
Dr. Christian Franz