A research team from the University of Houston is investigating how dendrites grow in an attempt to solve the problem in lithium-ion batteries.
The team based in the US has developed a “novel in-situ” 3D microscopy to image and study the localised electrochemical environments and understand where dendrites start forming in a battery’s anode.
Using the 3D microscope, small cameras and other computer imaging technology, the researchers geometrically mapped out how a battery initially develops dendrites.
The findings were published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.
Electrical and computer engineering graduate student Guangxia Feng is the lead author; Xiaonan Shan, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UH’s Cullen College of Engineering was a corresponding author on the paper.
Shan said that by understanding how dendrites grew on batteries, they could identify chemical and physical solutions to prevent them, which was necessary to develop the next generation of batteries.
He said: “With this process, manufacturers can theoretically make better performing batteries by focusing on the structural design of batteries that discourages the growth of dendrites.
“And in the next step, we will use this technique to design highly efficient ZnC (zinc-carbon) batteries.”
Authors joining Shan and Feng on the paper are Jiaming Guo, Yaping Shi, Xiaoliang, Xu Yang and David Mayerich, all of the UHDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Huajun Tian, Zho Li and Yang Yang, University of Central Florida.