Quantum sensors in battery development
With sustainability and stewardship of our planet increasingly in our consciousness, the race to create batteries that are cheaper, more durable and energy-dense is on.
State of health monitoring and end-of-line testing
It is challenging to understand the chemistry and monitor the state of health in degradation processes (i.e. changes in the solid electrolyte interphase porosity) of battery cells in operando. Confirming that each battery module is operating properly is one of the main issues in battery module End-of-Line (EOL) test systems. The current method for doing this is charging the produced batteries, storing them in the manufacturing facility for a few days, and then testing them for shorts. Although this method is efficient, it can be time-consuming and take up a lot of floor space.
Quantum sensors as a solution
Diamond-based quantum sensing has the sensitivity for measuring with ultrahigh precision the DC magnetic field generated from a battery current. Manufacturers may be able to reduce the amount of time it takes to find defective battery modules by employing quantum sensors to verify the functionality of the modules. This might shorten the EOL procedure and demand less floor space. The quantum sensors also has the resolution for spatially resolved solid-state magnetic field sensing, including from unique nuclei such as lithium that is critical to solving the key issues in battery development, including improving energy density, power density, charging time, life, cost, and sustainability.
DC magnetic field and electric field sensing
Minimal field strength: 1nT
Sensitivity: down to 10 pT/√Hz
Minimal: 1 nT
Bandwidth: < 1 Hz (statisch)
Vectorial measurements possible
Electric Field: 1 V/m
Sensitivity: up to 0.2 V/(m √Hz)
Spatially resolved solid-state magnetic resonance
Minimal field strength: 0.1 nT (AC)
Frequency range: 1 Hz - 10 GHz (AC)
Capable of detecting unique nuclei
Enabling next generation batteries
This is critical for improving existing lithium-based batteries well as developing new ones based on more naturally abundant and sustainable chemistry. This would transform the market and push the shift from gasoline to electric vehicles.