Additive Manufacturing as a Means of Gas Sensor Development for Battery Health Monitoring
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) still need continuous safety monitoring based on their intrinsic properties, as well as due to the increase in their sizes and device requirements. The main causes of fires and explosions in LIBs are heat leakage and the presence of highly inflammable components. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the safety of the batteries by preventing the generation of these gases and/or their early detection with sensors. The improvement of such safety sensors requires new approaches in their manufacturing. There is a growing role for research of nanostructured sensor’s durability in the field of ionizing radiation that also can induce structural changes in the LIB’s component materials, thus contributing to the elucidation of fundamental physicochemical processes; catalytic reactions or inhibitions of the chemical reactions on which the work of the sensors is based. A current method widely used in various fields, Direct Ink Writing (DIW), has been used to manufacture heterostructures of Al2O3/CuO and CuO:Fe2O3, followed by an additional ALD and thermal annealing step. The detection properties of these 3D-DIW printed heterostructures showed responses to 1,3-dioxolan (DOL), 1,2-dimethoxyethane (DME) vapors, as well as to typically used LIB electrolytes containing LiTFSI and LiNO3 salts in a mixture of DOL:DME, as well also to LiPF6 salts in a mixture of ethylene carbonate (EC) and dimethyl carbonate (DMC) at operating temperatures of 200 °C–350 °C with relatively high responses. The combination of the possibility to detect electrolyte vapors used in LIBs and size control by the 3D-DIW printing method makes these heterostructures extremely attractive in controlling the safety of batteries.