This paper for inclusion in the special issue provides a brief synopsis of lithium-ion battery safety research efforts at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and presents the viewpoint that lithium-ion battery safety is a growing research area for both academic and applied researchers. We quantify how the number of lithium-ion battery research efforts worldwide has plateaued while publications associated with the safety aspect of lithium-ion batteries are on a rapid incline. The safety challenge creates a unique research opportunity to not only understand basic phenomena but also enhance existing fielded system through advanced controls and prognostics. As the number of lithium-ion battery safety research contributions climbs, significant advancements will come in the area of modeling across multiple time and length scales. Additionally, the utility of in situ and in operando techniques, several performed by the NRL and our collaborators, will feed the data necessary to validate these models. Lithium-ion battery innovations are no longer tied to performance metrics alone, but are increasingly dependent on safety research to unlock their full potential. There is much work to be done.

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