Lithium Ion batteries are found in most mobile electronic devices (e.g. laptop computers, phones etc). They are the dominant battery technology due to their superior energy to weight ratio and lack of memory effect. They are also the primary battery type used in the latest generation of electric and hybrid cars.
Quality control and monitoring of the manufacturing process is crucial as small deviations and low levels of contaminants can have catastrophic consequences. There have been many expensive instances during the last years where millions of devices containing Li-ion batteries have had to be recalled due to manufacturing problems. Contamination with metal particles can in some circumstances create a short circuit between the anode and cathode, which can result in a thermal runaway leading to an explosion of the battery.