Fluorescence helps make electric vehicle batteries safer

July 16, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Researchers in the US have found a way to make electric car batteries safer by adding a fluorescent material to highlight any leaks.

Working with a grant from Ford Motor company, researchers Randall Goldsmith and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed fluorescent compound that can attach to lithium ions to show if batteries are leaking.

The researchers worked with 2-(2-hydroxyphenyl)naphthoxazole, or HPNO, a molecule that fluoresces when it attaches to lithium ions. They added a "visible pump" to help prevent photobleaching and other damage to provide real-time tracking of lithium ions via widefield fluorescence microscopy. The fluorophore can be excited with visible light and can be used on a plasticized polymer electrolyte lithium battery.

The next step is to test the molecule in a realistic version of a battery cell.


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