Multiscale tomographic analysis of the thermal failure of Na-Ion batteries

J.B. Robinson, T.M.M. Heenan, J.R. Jervis, C. Tan, E. Kendrick, D.J.L. Brett, P.R. Shearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, the ability to examine the processes that cause the catastrophic failure of batteries as a result of thermal runaway has improved substantially. In this work, the effect of thermal runaway on the microstructure of the electrodes of a Na-ion battery is examined using X-ray computed tomography for the first time. The thermal failure induced via accelerating rate calorimetry enabled the examination of failed electrodes, which were subsequently compared with fresh samples. Pre- and post-mortem microstructural analysis shows changes in both electrodes as a result of the thermal runaway process at the micrometre length-scale. It is seen that the cathode shows the largest changes in structure, with the anode remaining morphologically similar post-failure at the sub-micron length-scale. The formation of a highly X-ray attenuating layer, which is proposed to be a metallic product of the thermal runaway reaction, is observed, indicating that the thermal runaway mechanisms which occur in Na-ion batteries may be similar to those reported for Li-ion systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-368
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date18 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Thermal runaway
  • Na-ion battery
  • X-ray computed tomography
  • Microstructural analysis
  • Battery failure
  • Accelerating rate calorimetry


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