Investigating lithium-ion battery materials during overcharge-induced thermal runaway: an operando and multi-scale X-ray CT study
Catastrophic failure of lithium-ion batteries occurs across multiple length scales and over very short time periods. A combination of high-speed operando tomography, thermal imaging and electrochemical measurements is used to probe the degradation mechanisms leading up to overcharge-induced thermal runaway of a LiCoO2 pouch cell, through its interrelated dynamic structural, thermal and electrical responses. Failure mechanisms across multiple length scales are explored using a post-mortem multi-scale tomography approach, revealing significant morphological and phase changes in the LiCoO2 electrode microstructure and location dependent degradation. This combined operando and multi-scale X-ray computed tomography (CT) technique is demonstrated as a comprehensive approach to understanding battery degradation and failure.