STEM study of Li4Ti5O12 anode material modified with Ag nanoparticles
Comprehensive scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) analysis of Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) powder modified by deposited Ag nanoparticles was performed. Nanocomposite powders with Ag content of 1 wt.%, 4 wt.%, 10 wt.% were fabricated in a chemical process from suspensions of Ag and LTO. Apart from the STEM results, the presence of pure silver on the surface of the ceramic powder was confirmed by XRD and XPS analyses. The silver particles deposited on the LTO particles were characterized using the EDS mapping technique. The quantified results of the EDS mapping showed a relatively homogenous distribution of silver nanoparticles on the powder surface for every metal content. The mean diameter of the nanoparticles deposited on the LTO powder was about 4 nm in all cases. An increase in the Ag content during chemical surface modification did not cause changes in the microstructure. Focusing on an analysis of the metallic nanoparticles on the ceramic powder, electron tomography was used as an investigative technique. A very precise analysis of three-dimensional nanostructures is desirable for a comprehensive analysis of complex materials. The quantified analysis of the Ag nanoparticles visualized using electron tomography confirmed the results of the size measurements taken from the two-dimensional EDS maps.