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In situ neutron radiography analysis of graphite/NCA lithium-ion battery during overcharge


Overcharge of lithium-ion batteries can lead to the deposition of lithium ions on the surface of graphite electrodes. The phenomenon of lithium deposition causes reduced electrochemical performance and presents safety concerns for lithium-ion batteries in high-power applications. This study presents a technique using neutron radiography (NR) for in situ visualization of the effects of overcharge in a graphite/NCA (LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2) lithium-ion cell. Patterns of deposition of solid material on the surface of the graphite electrode observed in the radiographs were confirmed by direct observation of the electrode. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to verify the elemental contents of the deposited material. NR is shown to be a promising tool for the study of lithium-ion batteries in high-power applications.

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Direct current


Diethyl carbonate


Ethylene carbonate




Meso carbon microbead


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Neutron radiography


Open-circuit voltage


Polyvinylidene difluoride


Training, Research, Isotope Production and General Atomic


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We are thankful for the support of Honghe Zheng at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. We also acknowledge the efforts of Ron Walker and the staff at the UC Davis McClellan Nuclear Research Center. This study was funded in part by the Fuel Cell, Hydrogen, and Hybrid Vehicle (FCH2V) Graduate Automotive Technology Education Center of Excellence at the University of California, Davis.

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Correspondence to Jae Wan Park.

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Same, A., Battaglia, V., Tang, HY. et al. In situ neutron radiography analysis of graphite/NCA lithium-ion battery during overcharge. J Appl Electrochem 42, 1–9 (2012).

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  • Neutron radiography
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Lithium deposition