Efficiency and life time of solar cells, energy and power density of the batteries, and costs of the fuel cells alike cannot be improved unless the complex electronic, optoelectronic, and ionic mechanisms underpinning operation of these materials and devices are understood on the nanometer level of individual defects. Only by probing these phenomena locally can we hope to link materials structure and functionality, thus opening pathway for predictive modeling and synthesis. While structures of these materials are now accessible on length scales from macroscopic to atomic, their functionality has remained Terra Incognitae. In this volume, we provide a summary of recent advances in scanning probe microscopy studies of local functionality of energy materials and devices ranging from photovoltaics to batteries, fuel cells, and energy harvesting systems. Recently emergent SPM modes and combined SPM-electron microscopy approaches are also discussed. Contributions by internationally renowned leaders in the field describe the frontiers in this important field.
Introduction: Local Probes in the Next Decade of Energy Research: Bridging Macroscopic and Atomic Worlds (D A Bonnell and S V Kalinin); Scanning Probes for Energy Harvesting Systems: Photovoltaics and Solar Cells: Electrical Scanning Probe Microscopy on Solar Cell Materials (R Giridharagopal, G E Rayermann and D S Ginger); Organic Solar Cell Materials and Devices Characterized by Conductive and Photoconductive Atomic Force Microscopy (X-D Dang, M Guide and T-Q Nguyen); Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy for Solar Cell Applications (T Glatzel); Reversible Rectification in Sub-Monolayer Molecular P-N Junctions: Towards Nanoscale Photovoltaic Studies (J A Smerdon, N C Giebink and J R Guest); Study of Photoinduced Charges with Atomic Force Microscopy (M Dokukin, N Guz and I Sokolov); Imaging of Nanoscale Photogenerated Charge Transport in Organic Photovoltaic Materials (B Hamadani, P M Haney and N B Zhitenev); Photoassisted Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy for Characterization of Solar Cell Materials (T Takahashi); Scanning Probes for Fuel Cells and Local Electrochemistry: Electrochemical Strain Microscopy of Oxygen-Ion Conductors: Fuel Cells and Oxide Electronics (A Kumar, S Jesse, S V Kalinin, F Ciucci and A Morozovska); Ion Dynamics in Nanoscopic Subvolumes of Solid Electrolytes Analysed by Electrostatic Force Spectroscopy (A Schirmeisen and B Roling); Nanoscale Electrochemistry in Energy Related Systems Using Atomic Force Microscopy (W Lee, M H Lee, R P O'Hayre and F B Prinz); Scanning Probe Microscopy of Fuel Cell Materials Under Realistic Operating Conditions (S S Nonnenmann and D A Bonnell); Scanning Probe Microscopy of Energy Storage Materials and Devices: In situ SPM Analysis of Interfacial Phenomena in Lithium-Ion Batteries (M Inaba, S-K Jeong and Z Ogumi); Conducting-Probe Atomic Force Microscopy of Electrochemical Interfaces (P A Veneman and K J Stevenson); Electrochemical Strain Microscopy of Li-ion and Li-air Battery Materials (T M Arruda, N Balke, S Jesse and S V Kalinin); Emerging Scanning Probe Techniques: High Sensitivity Scanning Impedance Microscopy and Spectroscopy (S S Nonnenmann, X Chen and D A Bonnell); Scanning Microwave Microscopy: Advances in Quantitative Capacitance and Carrier Density Measurements at the Nanometer Scale (S Wu, F Kienberger and H Tanbakuchi); Mapping Electrochemistry at the Micro and Nanoscales with Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy (C Laslau, D E Williams and J Travas-Sejdic); Force Microscopy, Nanochemistry and Nanofabrication (R Garcia, M Chiesa and Y K Ryu); Studying the Mechanism of Piezoelectric Nanogenerators (J Song and Z L Wang).