Improvements to battery performance, reliability and lifetime are essential to meet the expansive demands for energy storage. As part of this, continuous monitoring of the dynamic chemistry inside cells offers an exciting path to minimizing parasitic reactions and maximizing sustainability. Building upon recent fibre-optic/battery innovations, we report the use of operando infrared fibre evanescent wave spectroscopy to monitor electrolyte evolution in 18650 Na-ion and Li-ion cells under real working conditions. This approach enables identification of chemical species and reveals electrolyte and additive decomposition mechanisms during cycling, thereby providing important insights into the growth and nature of the solid–electrolyte interphase, the dynamics of solvation and their complex interrelations. Moreover, by directly embedding fibres within the electrode material, we demonstrate simultaneous observations of both the material structural evolution and the Na(Li) inventory changes upon cycling. This illuminating sensing method has the power to reveal the otherwise opaque chemical phenomena occurring within each key battery component.
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J.-M.T. acknowledges the International Balzan Prize Foundation and the LABEX STOREXII for funding. C.G.-M. and J.-M.T. acknowledge Brurker for the instrumental set-up. We thank Tiamat for providing the NVPF/HC 18650 cells and R. Dugas for his assistance in the cell fabrication. We thank R. Chometon for the scanning electron microscopy images. M.B.Y. acknowledges the support of the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) under reference ANR-17-CE05-10 (project VASELinA). S.T.B. acknowledges the support from the ENERSENSE research initiative (68024013) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway. Finally, we gladly thank S. Mariyappan, P. Desai and D. Larcher for valuable discussions and comments.
A patent related to the work has been submitted (application no. PCT/EP2022/071395) by the Centre National de la Rercherche Scientifique, Collège de France, Sorbonne Université, Université de Rennes 1, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes and Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Rennes. The inventors are Jean-Marie Tarasco, Charlotte Gervillié, Catherine Boussard, Xiang-Hua Zhang and Jean-Luc Adam. The patent covers a method for operando characterization of chemical species within a battery using infrared fibre evanescent wave spectroscopy.
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Gervillié-Mouravieff, C., Boussard-Plédel, C., Huang, J. et al. Unlocking cell chemistry evolution with operando fibre optic infrared spectroscopy in commercial Na(Li)-ion batteries. Nat Energy (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-022-01141-3