See-Through Batteries: Testing for Safer, More Powerful Energy Storage

Efficiency-reducing dendrites are the metal wire forming phenomenon that consumes electrolytes while new-generation lithium metal batteries are charging. University of Michigan engineers have developed a visualization cell as a 'window' to look inside the potentially explosive process. For the first time, high-resolution video is able to capture surface activity as the lithium metal battery cycles through, while comparisons to the chemical changes can be made in real time. This could lead to the expansion of longer lasting, more powerful batteries for electric vehicles and longer power storage from the nation's energy infrastructure.