Spatially resolved ultrasound diagnostics of Li-ion battery electrodes

James B. Robinson, Maximilian Maier , George Alster , Tomos Compton , Dan J. L. Brett and Paul R. Shearing - Electrochemical Innovation Lab, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCL, London, WC1E 7JE, UK

The importance of reliable battery diagnostic systems has grown substantially in recent years as a result of the use of high power Li-ion battery packs in an increasingly diverse range of applications. Here, spatially resolved ultrasound acoustic measurements are used to analyse the condition of Li-ion electrodes. Ultrasonic measurements are performed on a commercial mobile phone battery over the full operating voltage window with the lithiation and delithiation of electrodes observed at 36 locations on the surface of the cell. X-ray computed tomography was performed on the cell to ascertain the internal architecture and features that enabled the architecture of the battery to be correlated with the acoustic signature. Analyses of the acoustic signals obtained suggest that the anode and cathode layers can be identified by examining the change in attenuation associated with the charging process. It is also seen that expansions of the electrode layers are inhibited by the presence of the anode current collecting tab in the battery which leads to spatial inhomogeneities in the expansion of the electrode layer examined within the cell.

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