Quality Assurance for Battery Cells with Electrodes

Quality Assurance for Battery Electrodes

Technical cleanliness and burr inspection

Battery safety through cleanliness and inspection

Eliminating particle contamination and burrs

The geometry and composition of electrodes located inside battery cells play a major role in safety and efficiency. Anodes, cathodes, and separator foils are all cut or punched from coated copper, aluminum, or insulation paper foils. The separator foils in battery cells are stacked, ideally without any overlapping.

Battery-active materials can easily be contaminated during transport and manufacturing. Foreign particles over 5 μm must be checked to prevent safety issues and meet ever stricter quality standards. ZEISS solutions for technical cleanliness identify the root cause of contamination in functionally relevant components and help with making the right decision more quickly.

Key quality challenges for battery electrodes

Electrode Structure

Electrode structure

Microstructure and segmentation

Different electrode formulation processes may impact the electrode microstructure and therefore the cell performance. Computational materials modeling is becoming key to accelerating battery and material development.

In this image, NMC cathode material segmentation (at the bottom), color particle segmentation data (in the middle), and the result of digital material simulation (at the top) are used to map diffusion behaviors in the NMC lithium-ion battery cathode.

Electrode production

Electrode production

Burr inspection and 2D shape

When electrodes are cut to produce batteries with different dimensions, this may cause metal burrs that impair battery performance. Cutter blade changes must be perfectly timed to balance quality and cost.

ZEISS optical multisensor CMMs perform accurate high-resolution quality lab inspection of cut electrodes, while ZEISS optical inline metrology monitors high-speed electrode cutting and stacking in real time. The ZEISS burr inspection system enables automated burr detection in factory settings.

Battery cell deformation

Identification and 3D visualization

Deformations caused by thermal expansion and the temperature behavior of the battery cell during charging and discharging must be tested and evaluated during battery development.

Thermally induced expansion of a battery cell can be visualized with the 3D camera system ARAMIS and ZEISS INSPECT Correlate software.

Particle analysis with ZEISS technical cleanliness solutions

Characterizing process-critical contamination

  • NEV battery contamination

    NEV battery contamination

    A core quality challenge

    Lithium-ion batteries are very sensitive to contamination in the manufacturing process. Any particle contamination in the processed part can affect battery lifetime and quality. Iron particles located at the anode, cathode, or separator can cause the battery cell to self-discharge.

  • Correlative particle analysis

    Correlative particle analysis

    Two-stage microscopy

    Technical cleanliness is a two-stage procedure that uses a light microscope to examine the number and size of particles present, then deploys an electron microscope to confirm the chemical composition and origin of the particles. It therefore seeks to eliminate system failures that could potentially be caused by these particles.

  • Contamination errors in production

    Contamination errors in production

    Identification and analysis

    Metallic particles can easily be accumulated when the battery is being transported or during the manufacturing process. Though they are small, they can nevertheless cause safety issues such as an electrical short. Proper identification and analysis of every metallic particle over the size of 5 μm is therefore critical for the battery.

  • ZEISS technical cleanliness

    ZEISS technical cleanliness

    Your ideal quality solution

    ZEISS light microscopes can be combined with our ZEISS Technical Cleanliness Analysis software for quantitative particle analysis, while ZEISS scanning electron microscopes automatically provide the chemical composition of each particle. ZEISS Correlative Particle Analysis establishes the advanced workflow for identifying particle contamination and finding the root cause.

Extra insights into quality assurance for battery electrodes

  • Inspection of Cut Electrodes with ZEISS O-INSPECT
  • Solid-State Battery Preparation and Analysis
  • Composition Analysis of Li-Ion Battery Layers with ZEISS EVO 25
  • Composition Analysis of Li-Ion Battery Layers with ZEISS EVO 25
  • Remarkable precision in real time
    Inspection of Cut Electrodes with ZEISS O-INSPECT
  • From acquisition to report in matters of moments
    Automatic Defect Analysis with Axio Imager 2
  • Control and analysis go hand in hand
    Composition Analysis of Li-Ion Battery Layers with ZEISS EVO 25
  • Workflow with ZEISS Xradia, ZEISS Crossbeam, and ZEISS Orion
    Solid State Battery Preparation and Analysis

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