We present non-destructive and non-invasive in operando X-ray tomographic investigations of the charge and discharge behavior of rechargeable alkaline-manganese (RAM) batteries (Zn-MnO2
batteries). Changes in the three-dimensional structure of the zinc anode and the MnO2
cathode material after several charge/discharge cycles were analyzed. Battery discharge leads to a decrease in the zinc particle sizes, revealing a layer-by-layer dissolving behavior. During charging, the particles grow again to almost their initial size and shape. After several cycles, the particles sizes slowly decrease until most of the particles become smaller than the spatial resolution of the tomography. Furthermore, the number of cracks in the MnO2
bulk continuously increases and the separator changes its shape. The results are compared to the behavior of a conventional primary cell that was also charged and discharged several times.
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