To build better batteries, you need to catch them in the act

28 Jul 2017

Emerging industries, from large-scale energy storage to electric cars, will need longer lasting batteries. But to build them, we need to know a lot more about what is limiting battery life.

New tools let researchers examine, at the nanometer scale, batteries while they’re in operation. This helps them identify internal faults that can trigger battery failure.

Advanced tools, such as electron microscopes and synchrotrons – a very powerful light source – let us look at batteries while they’re in use. High speed cameras and detectors, chip technology and the ability to process large amounts of data also play a role.

This emerging field still has its obstacles: the high energy x-rays or electron beams used by these tools can interfere with battery operation, and typically the sample size is limited because it needs to fit into a relatively small instrument space.

Read the full article on The Conversation