MRI Scanners: Now Used to Look Inside Batteries [VIDEO]

Researchers are trying to create a better battery with MRI scanning — looking at batteries from the inside out for the first time.

Previously the only way scientists looked into a battery is by destroying it. Now researchers at Cambridge University, Stony Brook University and New York University are adopting the MRI technology that doctors use to look inside the body.

MRIs are not typically used where there are large concentrations of metal. People with pacemakers and metal implants are urged to tell their doctors before getting an MRI because metal makes an MRI’s radio frequencies null.

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Researchers are using this limitation to their advantage. For lithium-ion batteries, MRIs may be used to see where large bundles of metal deposits are after charging the battery. These will point to problem areas that lead to battery failure, overheating fires and explosions, according to ScienceDaily.

What will come of this research? Better batties for your phones, cameras and laptops.

“New electrode and electrolyte materials are constantly being developed, and this non-invasive MRI technology could provide insights into the microscopic processes inside batteries, which hold the key to eventually making batteries lighter, safer, and more versatile,” said Alexej Jerschow, a professor in NYU’s Department of Chemistry who leads the MRI research laboratory.

Check out the video above to learn more.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, commorancy.

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