Diagnosing current distributions in batteries with magnetic resonance imaging

Mohaddese Mohammadi, Emilia V. Silletta, Andrew J. Ilott, Alexej Jerschow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Batteries and their defects are notoriously difficult to analyze non-destructively, and consequently, many defects and failures remain little noticed and characterized until they cause grave damage. The measurement of the current density distributions inside a battery could reveal information about deviations from ideal cell behavior, and could thus provide early signs of deterioration or failures. Here, we describe methodology for fast nondestructive assessment and visualization of the effects of current distributions inside Li-ion pouch cells. The technique, based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), allows measuring magnetic field maps during charging/discharging. Marked changes in the distributions are observed as a function of the state of charge, and also upon sustaining damage. In particular, it is shown that nonlinearities and asymmetries of current distributions could be mapped at different charge states. Furthermore, hotspots of current flow are also shown to correlate with hotspots in charge storage. This technique could potentially be of great utility in diagnosing the health of cells and their behavior under different charging or environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106601
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Current distribution
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Rechargeable Li-ion batteries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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