Lithium ion batteries imaged and current constriction evaluated using Dragonfly

Lithium ion batteries are increasingly important and require stringent quality control and improvement in their properties. One issue is current constriction that can occur at interfaces of solid electrolytes. The unique ability to image the battery components before and after discharge provide the opportunity to evaluate and quantify such effects as current constriction, as shown in this work. Pores resulting from flash sintering of the ceramic electrolyte are quantified in the images, indicating the need for improvements in sintering methods.

The lead author on this work was Aly Badran, from the University of Colorado at Boulder. According to Aly, “Dragonfly was useful here to register or align the scans before and after discharge, in order to identify exact changes and quantify those changes volumetrically.”


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Aly Badran, Thomas Clemenceau, Niriaina Andriamady, David Marshall, and Rishi Raj, Current constriction of Li-ion transport across lithium metal–ceramic electrolyte interface: Imaged with X-ray Tomography. MRS Communications, 2021, 11, 283–287 (

Keywords: Lithium Ion, Battery, Energy Storage, Batteries, X-Ray Microscopy, X-Ray Tomography


Figure 1: A lithium ion battery cell prior to discharge cycle. Cu-Li-LLZO-Li-Cu configuration.

Figure 2: Porosity analysis of the LLZO ceramic electrolyte internal material.

Figure 3: Visualization of the same cell before and after full discharge – note the anode entirely depleted.

Figure 4: Thickness colormap showing the anode thickness variation.