Lithium dendrites deposited on the surface of carbon electrode are detected using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. The amount of lithium dendrite deposited is quantitively estimated from the 7Li NMR signal intensity. Credit: Reproduced from the inside-front cover picture (J. Mater. Chem. A, Issue29, 2020) with permission form The Royal Society of Chemistry Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are a common type of rechargeable batteries. Their versatile nature and numerous applications in all sorts of electronic devices—from mobile phones to cars—makes them seem too good to be true. And perhaps they are: recently, there has been an increase in the number of fire-related incidents associated with LIBs, especially during charging, causing serious concerns over their safety. Scientists now know that these incidents can be due to the use of a broken or unauthorized charger. Often, improper use of these chargers and overcharging can lead to the formation of spiky structures on the negative electrode of the battery, called "lithium (Li) dendrites," which penetrate through the barrier between the negative and positive electrodes and cause a short circuit. Thus, looking at exactly how dendrite formation occurs is crucial to improving the safety of LIBs. Scientists at Okayama University, led by Associate Professor […]

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