University of Birmingham — MRI scanning assists with next generation battery design
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide an effective way of supporting the development of the next generation of high-performance rechargeable batteries, according to research led by the University of Birmingham.
The technique, which was developed to detect the movement and deposition of sodium metal ions within a sodium battery, will enable faster evaluation of new battery materials, and help to accelerate this type of battery’s route to market.
Sodium batteries are widely recognised as a promising candidate to replace lithium ion batteries, currently widely used in devices such as portable electronics and electric vehicles. Several of the materials required to produce lithium ion batteries are critical or strategic elements and, therefore, researchers are working to develop alternative and more sustainable technologies.
Although sodium appears to have many of the properties required to produce an efficient battery, there are challenges in optimising the performance. Key amongst these is understanding how the sodium behaves inside the battery as it goes through its charging and discharging cycle, enabling the points of failure and degradation mechanisms to be identified.
A team, led by Dr Melanie Britton in the University of Birmingham’s School of Chemistry, has developed a technique, with researchers from the University of Nottingham, that uses MRI scanning to monitor how the sodium performs in operando. View more