7Li MRI of Li batteries reveals location of microstructural lithium

S. Chandrashekar, Nicole M. Trease, Hee Jung Chang, Lin Shu Du, Clare P. Grey, Alexej Jerschow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is an ever-increasing need for advanced batteries for portable electronics, to power electric vehicles and to facilitate the distribution and storage of energy derived from renewable energy sources. The increasing demands on batteries and other electrochemical devices have spurred research into the development of new electrode materials that could lead to better performance and lower cost (increased capacity, stability and cycle life, and safety). These developments have, in turn, given rise to a vigorous search for the development of robust and reliable diagnostic tools to monitor and analyse battery performance, where possible, in situ. Yet, a proven, convenient and non-invasive technology, with an ability to image in three dimensions the chemical changes that occur inside a full battery as it cycles, has yet to emerge. Here we demonstrate techniques based on magnetic resonance imaging, which enable a completely non-invasive visualization and characterization of the changes that occur on battery electrodes and in the electrolyte. The current application focuses on lithium-metal batteries and the observation of electrode microstructure build-up as a result of charging. The methods developed here will be highly valuable in the quest for enhanced battery performance and in the evaluation of other electrochemical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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