As personal electronics devices become smarter and smaller at the same time, the demand for more powerful batteries with smaller volumes grows. In many devices the battery already takes up most of the available space. The issue is even more imperative for microsystems where battery power is needed for autonomous operations in e.g. wireless sensor networks (WSN), body area networks (BAN) and medical implants. Therefore, innovations in battery technology are desperately needed and the inclination towards disruptive technologies grows.
At imec, we have developed an new nanomesh material with unprecedented combination of high surface area, high porosity, mechanical rigidity while flexible. In this PhD, you will use this material to fabricate a novel type of solid-state batteries. These batteries will have a thin foil and flexible form factor, while having a energy density and fast charging rate. Thin layers of Li-compounds need to fabricated conformally on these high aspect ratio nanostructured surfaces. Understanding and control of different phases, the effect of in-diffusion during synthesis and battery operation, and the nature of charge transfer over the electrode/electrolyte interfaces will be key in enabling the 3D thin-film battery technology on foil. Development of material stacks, their deposition and processing need to be compatible for up-scaling to large area foil-based fabrication for flexible, wound or laminated Li-ion battery pouch cells.
Required background: Chemistry, Material Science, Nanotechnology
Type of work: experimental, design
Supervisor: Philippe Vereecken
Daily advisor: Maarten Mees
The reference code for this position is 2020-079. Mention this reference code on your application form.
Chinese nationals who wish to apply for the CSC scholarship, should use the following code when applying for this topic: CSC2020-41.