Description Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are commonly used in electronics, like smart phones. Lithium cobalt oxide, currently used in these batteries, has a long lifetime, but is expensive. Jaber Ansari and her colleagues are testing other materials to find a more affordable alternative. One possibility is lithium manganese oxide (LMO). LMO is cheaper but has a short lifetime. The substrate (the surface material) on which the LMO is placed plays a role in its effectiveness.In this image, LMO is deposited on a silicon dioxide substrate. The dendrites (leaf-like formations) are small crystals that form when the LMO powder goes through a heat treatment process, called annealing. Jaber Ansari hopes to find the substrate material that makes the LMO last the longest in rechargeable batteries.Technique: Optical microscopy, no false coloring
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