Energy conversion at interfaces – storage in Li-ion batteries

At the division of Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics (, we study the atomic structure of various materials used in energy applications and relate this structure to their functionality in the device. A main focus is materials and the interfaces for electrical to chemical conversion including Li-ion batteries. The research on interfaces also has bearing on applications such as photovoltaics and catalysis / photocatalysis. Our research target fundamental questions that will give improved understanding of the working principle and how this can improve efficiency and stability.

The battery research in our division focuses on the interfaces between the electrodes and the electrolyte as well as on the electrode materials themselves and their evolution during battery use. The properties of the interfaces in lithium-ion batteries, especially between the negative electrode and the electrolyte are of great importance regarding not only battery performances but also battery safety and long-term stability. Information about the electrode materials, e.g. working principle, stability and good reversibility is important for the development of new active materials suitable to achieve greater batteries.

Most of the research at the Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics is based upon various spectroscopic techniques, and the division has a long tradition of methods and instrumental development. To investigate energy storage in batteries, photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray absorption, and resonant inelastic x-ray scattering are primarily used. In this research the division has a strong collaboration with the Department of Chemistry-Ångström including ÅABC ( and industry, as well as with national and international synchrotron facilities such as MAX IV (https: //, BESSY  ( and ALS (

Battery, Solar cells

Research Group

Project leader
Assistant Prof. Maria Hahlin

Prof. Håkan Rensmo

Other project members

Associate Prof. Laurent Duda

Researcher PhD Fredrik Lindgren

PhD student Ida Källquist

PhD student Felix Masel

Dr. Bertrand Philippe

Molecular and Condensed matter Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University

Links and references

All results can be found at

See for example :

Electric Potential Gradient at the Buried Interface between Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes and the SEI Observed Using Photoelectron Spectroscopy

Julia Maibach, Fredrik Lindgren, Kristina Edström, Maria Hahlin

The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2016, 7, 10, pp 1775-1780

Investigating the Interfacial Chemistry of Organic Electrodes in Li- and Na-Ion Batteries.

Oltean VA; Philippe B; Renault S; Duarte RF; Rensmo H; Brandell D.

Chem Mat. 2016;28(23):8742-51.

In-Situ Probing of H2O Effects on a Ru-Complex Adsorbed on TiO2 Using Ambient Pressure Photoelectron Spectroscopy.

Eriksson SK; Hahlin M; Axnanda S; Crumlin E; Wilks R; Odelius M; Eriksson AIK; Liu Z; Ahlund J; Hagfeldt A; Starr DE; Bar M; Rensmo H; Siegbahn H.

Top Catal. 2016;59(5-7):583-90.

Passivation Layer and Cathodic Redox Reactions in Sodium-Ion Batteries Probed by HAXPES.

Doubaji S; Philippe B; Saadoune I; Gorgoi M; Gustafsson T; Solhy A; Valvo M; Rensmo H; Edström K.

ChemSusChem. 2016;9(1):97-108.

Photoelectron Spectroscopy for Lithium Battery Interface Studies.

Philippe B; Hahlin M; Edström K; Gustafsson T; Siegbahn H; Rensmo H.

J Electrochem Soc. 2016;163(2):A178-A91.

Electronic and Structural Changes in Ni0.5TiOPO4 Li-Ion Battery Cells upon First Lithiation and Delithiation, Studied by High-Energy X-ray Spectroscopies

Rickard Eriksson, Karima Lasri, Mihaela Gorgoi, Torbjörn Gustafsson, Kristina Edstrom, Daniel Brandell, Ismael Saadoune, Maria Hahlin

Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2015, 119 (18), 9692-9704

A HPXPS experimental method for characterization of solid-liquid interfaces demonstrated with a Li-ion battery system

Julia Maibach, Chao Xu, Susanna K. Eriksson, John Åhlund, Torbjörn Gustafsson, Hans Siegbahn, Håkan Rensmo, Kristina Edström, and Maria Hahlin

Review of Scientific Instruments, 2015, 85, 044101

Additional funding (apart from StandUp for Energy)

We acknowledge financial support from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Energy Agency, and Strategic ResearchCouncil (SSF). HZB, ALS as well as MAX IV is acknowledged for the allocation of synchrotron radiation beamtime laboratory.