Using Gas Pycnometry to Determine Battery Component Crystallinity

The crystallinity of powder cathode and anode battery components plays a key role in electron transfer properties. Gas pycnometry can be used to assess the skeletal density of these components, which can then be related to the crystallinity. Extremely accurate volume measurements, like those performed with the Ultrapyc 5000, are required for this application to determine relative crystallinity.


Improving electrode battery components to achieve faster and more efficient energy transfer is an important part of battery material research and design. In particular, crystallinity is a critical property of solid battery electrode components because it enables ions  to conduct efficiently through the anode and cathode instead of slowing down in the amorphous domains. The higher the crystallinity of the anode or cathode component, the more efficient the electron transfer through and between the components.

Crystallinity affects the volume of a material and the degree of crystallinity can be detected using a technique that can measure the skeletal volume, such as gas pycnometry. The mass and measured volume of the sample are used to calculate the skeletal density. Therefore, skeletal density correlates with the crystallinity of a material, where the higher the skeletal density, the more crystalline the material. If skeletal densities of the completely amorphous and completely crystalline formations are known, it is also possible to compute the percent of crystallinity of a given sample.

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