In situ optical fibers and sensors for smart and more efficient batteries

28 August 2020

In the article published in Nature Energy, an international team (Collège de France, CNRS, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, MIT, Dalhousie University and LRCS) demonstrates how the information captured from sensors (wavelength shift) located inside the cells allows for real-time assessment and on-demand analysis of thermal and chemical events (e.g. heat generation and phase transformations) inherent to various battery chemistries. The Laboratory of Chemistry of Materials and Energy headed by Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon is involved in this pioneering research.

CP-Tarascon

Experimental setup consisting of an 18650 cell and optical fiber “Bragg” grating (FBG) sensors.
© Laboratoire de Chimie du Solide et de l’énergie, Collège de France / Benjamin Campech, RS2E.

As people become more mobile in the 21st century, batteries are essential for a wide range of applications (portable devices, renewable energy storage, electric mobility…) that have become the heart of our interconnected society. Such an increasing societal dependence make battery reliability and performance immensely more important than ever before. Researchers and companies must find new solutions to ensure the safety and reliability of these storage systems by injecting new sensing and monitoring functionalities, but with costs and scalability that render them practical.

An international team (Collège de France, CNRS[1], The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, MIT, Dalhousie University and LRCS) has adopted a transdisciplinary approach that consists of incorporating optical fiber “Bragg” grating (FBG) sensors within 18650 format cells (a standard for commercial batteries). The innovation here is twofold: Firstly with the use of optimized internal structures in the fibers to obtain clear optical signals and secondly with advanced signal analysis to decode the thermal and chemical events taking place within the battery.

In the article published in Nature Energy, the team demonstrates how the information captured from the sensors (wavelength shift) allows for real-time assessment and on-demand analysis of thermal and chemical events (e.g. heat generation and phase transformations) inherent to various battery chemistries.

Note

[1] French labs involved in the research: Laboratory of Chemistry of Materials and Energy / Laboratoire de Chimie du solide et de l’énergie(CNRS/Collège de France/Sorbonne Université), Laboratoire de réactivité et chimie des solides (CNRS/Université Picardie Jules Verne), within the French initiative on Electrochemical Energy Storage (RS2E) / coordinated by CNRS.