Defect Detection in Solid-State Battery Electrolytes Using Lock-in Thermal Imaging

Dana B. Sulas, Steve Johnston, Natalie Seitzman, Heather Platt, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Harvey Guthrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


Defective regions in battery materials often generate excess or non-uniform heat profiles during operation. Here, we discuss lock-in thermography as a high-sensitivity, spatially-resolved, and non-destructive technique to characterize defects and guide the targeted optimization of new battery materials and cell designs. As an example, we thermally image all-solid-state cells with β-Li3PS4 electrolyte, showing point-like heat signatures that correlate with cell breakdown. Based on the current/voltage cycling characteristics and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, we attribute heating at the breakdown sites primarily to resistive current flow through dendrites. To assist in enabling wider application of lock-in thermography to emerging battery materials, we discuss several parameters necessary to optimize this technique, including the influences of surface thermal emissivity, thermal diffusivity, and lock-in modulation frequency.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)A3205-A3211
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by ECS.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-71869


  • batteries
  • defect imaging
  • lithium
  • lock-in thermography
  • solid-state electrolytes


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