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Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Managed by the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducts unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Berkeley Lab's energy efficiency innovations have contributed more than $484B to the U.S. economy and we are delighted to partner with small businesses to solve some of their most pressing challenges across the areas of buildings, bio-energy, advanced manufacturing, vehicles, fuel cells and geothermal research and technologies. Strategically located in the Bay Area ecosystem of innovation, Berkeley Lab creates 12,000 jobs and contributed $1.6B to the US economy annually.

Capabilities

Since 1978, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been supporting scientists and engineers at Berkeley Lab in a sizable and significant way to carry out fundamental and applied research in the areas of electrochemistry and electrochemical energy storage and conversion, covering all areas, from materials synthesis, to advanced characterization, to battery testing and failure analysis. Every Principal Investigator in the program is well-versed in the fundamentals of electrochemistry and performs some type of electrochemical analysis.

Unique Capabilities

Specialized Electrode Fabrication of very thin electrodes (below 15 microns) and carbon and binderless free electrodes for electrochemical characterization and in operando chemical characterization).

Battery Test Protocols: anchored in our expertise in development of battery testing protocols for vehicular and grid applications.

Traditional Electrode and Cell Fabrication Methods: developed to produce anodes and cathodes under aqueous and non-aqueous conditions with calendering. Able to fabricate coin cells (1.25 cm2) and pouch cells (12 cm2).

Electrochemical Characterization: methodologies of chemical systems to understand the fundamental principles of electrode reactions and the electrical properties of electrode-solution interfaces, including: kinetics analysis, transport properties measurement and analysis, and impedance spectroscopy.

Battery Testing: Hundreds of channels for testing cells at currents between 1 micro amp to 50 mA with ac impedance capability. Experience in the application of automotive-specific testing.

Expertise and Techniques

Our expertise and techniques can be categorized into five main areas:

Facilities

User Facilities

Operated by the Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy:

Equipment and Instruments

For Traditional Electrode and Cell Fabrication Methods: Gloveboxes, mixers, drawdown tables, doctor blades, and rolling mills for electrode fabrication; pneumatic and hand crimpers for coin cell assembly; laminators for pouch cell assembly.

For Electrochemical Characterization: Rotating ring/disk, symmetric cells, carbon and binderless electrodes, coin and pouch cells with reference electrodes, potentiostats, and solartrons.

For Equipment for Battery Testing: Maccor, Biologic, and VMP3 battery cyclers; Potentiostats and solartrons.

Specialized Electrode Fabrication: The ability to fabricate very thin electrodes (below 15 microns) and carbon and binderless free electrodes for electrochemical characterization and in operando chemical characterization).

Battery Test Protocols: Development of battery test protocols, anchored in our expertise in development of battery testing protocols for vehicular and grid applications.

Traditional Electrode and Cell Fabrication Methods: Use complete fabrication facilities for making anodes and cathodes under aqueous and non-aqueous conditions with calendering. Able to fabricate coin cells (1.25 cm2) and pouch cells (12 cm2).

Electrochemical Characterization: Basic electrochemical characterization methodologies of chemical systems to understand the fundamental principles of electrode reactions and the electrical properties of electrode-solution interfaces. This includes techniques in kinetics analysis, transport properties measurement and analysis, and the use of impedance spectroscopy.

Battery Testing: Hundreds of channels for testing cells at currents between 1 micro amp to 50 mA with ac impedance capabiity. Experience in the application of automotive-specific testing.

Photo of a scientist in a lab with safety goggles working on a large machine testing batteries.
Photo of a scientist in a lab working on a desktop computer looking at results from a laser machine to the right of the computer.
Photo of the underside of the laser machine with green lasers beaming at a metal plate at the the bottom of the machine.