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We survey several neutron imaging and diffraction methods for non-destructive testing and evaluation of intact, commercial lithium-ion batteries. Specifically, far-field interferometry was explored as an option to probe a wide range of autocorrelation lengths within the batteries via neutron imaging. The dark-field interferometry images change remarkably from fresh to worn batteries, and from charged to discharged batteries. When attempting to search for visual evidence of battery degradation, neutron Talbot-Lau grating interferometry exposed battery layering and particle scattering through dark-field imaging. Bragg edge imaging also reveals battery wear and state of charge. Neutron diffraction observed chemical changes between fresh and worn, charged and discharged batteries. However, the utility of these methods, for commercial batteries, is dependent upon battery size and shape, with 19 to 43 mAh prismatic batteries proving most convenient for these experimental methods. This study reports some of the first spatially resolved, small angle scattering (dark-field) images showing battery degradation.

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Applied Sciences-Basel