/High capacity micro energy storage using nanostructured electrodes

High capacity micro energy storage using nanostructured electrodes

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Breaking the battery barrier

Thin-film battery active materials exhibit extremely high (dis)charging rates, but suffer from low capacity, due to the limited active material volume. By depositing thin-films on substrates with high surface area the overall capacity can be enhanced while retaining the high rate performance. A novel type of nanostructured electrode with a unique combination of surface area, porosity, and mechanical stability was developed at imec. This electrode can be used as a current collector for Li-ion battery electrodes by conformally coating the structure with battery active materials. Conformally coating this nanostructure remains challenging, as conventional techniques such as ALD are often cost prohibitive or damaging to the electrode surface (e.g. when applying a plasma during the deposition). Novel synthesis techniques are being developed to enable conformal deposition of a broad range of functional transition metal oxide thin-films on nanostructured surfaces. One synthetic route to conformally coat this electrode is through electrochemically induced depositions. 


During the Ph.D., the nanostructured electrode will be integrated into a full battery cell. The primary focus will be on developing understanding of the interactions at the different interfaces inside the micro battery cell and engineering the materials to improve the chemical, mechanical and thermal stability of the different components to prevent detrimental side-reactions during cell fabrication and operation. Characterization of the interface between the nanostructured battery electrode, current collector and electrolyte will require the combination of advanced physical characterization techniques combined with electrochemical techniques. Throughout the work, electrodes and cells will be fabricated and studied utilizing the state-of-the-art facilities of imec. You will be working in a team together with other Ph.D. students, researchers, and engineers, while collaborating with several different universities, research institutes, and companies.    



Required background: Engineering Science, Chemistry, Physics or equivalent

Type of work: 100% experimental

Supervisor: Philippe Vereecken

Daily advisor: Louis De Taeye

The reference code for this position is 2023-055. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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