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The performance evaluation and optimisation of commercially available lithium-ion cells is typically based upon their full cell potential and surface temperature measurements, despite these parameters not being fully representative of the electrochemical processes taking place in the core of the cell or at each electrode. Several methods were devised to obtain the cell core temperature and electrode-specific potential profiles of cylindrical Li-ion cells. Optical fibres with Bragg Gratings were found to produce reliable core temperature data, while their small mechanical profile allowed for low-impact instrumentation method. A pure metallic lithium reference electrode insertion method was identified, avoiding interference with other elements of the cell while ensuring good contact, enabling in-situ observations of the per-electrode electrochemical responses. Our thermo-electrochemical instrumentation technique has enabled us to collect unprecedented cell data, and has subsequently been used in advanced studies exploring the real-world performance limits of commercial cells.
McTurk, E., Amietszajew, T., Fleming, J., & Bhagat, R. (2018). Thermo-electrochemical instrumentation of cylindrical Li-ion cells. Journal of Power Sources, 379, 309–316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2018.01.060