The overall goal of this PhD project is to perform an in-depth experimental and computational study of the reliability of solid-state lithium batteries with an integrated solid-composite electrolyte.
The gradual move beyond conventional lithium-ion batteries seems inevitable on account of their limited energy content. Solid-state electrolytes can significantly boost the energy density as it allows for more densified cell architectures. The introduction of a solid phase to replace the conventional liquid-phase electrolytes is, however, a rather disruptive step and many material integration issues still need to be resolved. The operation of a battery relies on proper electronic and/or ionic contact between the different components. At imec/EnergyVille, an approach was developed where the solid electrolyte component is formed in-situ inside the porous electrodes thus providing good contact between the active electrode powder and the electrolyte. However, the rigid nature of the solid-solid interfaces still poses serious concerns about mechanical-induced degradation. Indeed, significant change of volume and insertion-induced stresses can impede decent and stable performance of a solid-state battery. Through a combination of experimental understanding and modeling, the ultimate goal of the project is to provide a tool to prediction of the electrolyte composition and the composite electrode architecture for optimal reliability and performance of the solid-state lithium batteries.
This 4-year PhD project centers on the following main targets
- Design & fabrication of a novel in-situ 'breathing' electrochemical cell with which the displacement of the electrode/electrolyte can be tracked during cycling.
- Characterization of the transport phenomena in solid-composite electrolytes.
- Development of a coupled electro-chemo-mechanical model for the solid-composite electrolytes.
Required background: Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Math
Type of work: 50% modeling, 50% modeling/simulation
Supervisor: Philippe Vereecken
Daily advisor: Momo Safari
The reference code for this position is 2020-080. 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: CSC2020-42.