/High conductivity nanocomposite electrolytes for Li metal solid-state batteries

High conductivity nanocomposite electrolytes for Li metal solid-state batteries

PhD - Genk | More than two weeks ago

Fast ions to speed up battery developments

Lithium-ion batteries power a wide variety of portable electronic devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and are now driving the transition to an environmentally sustainable electromobility. The success of this technology, which was launched on the market in 1991, hinges on both the high energy and high power ensured by suitable lithium-intercalation electrodes and stable, aprotic electrolyte solutions. Driven by the fast growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market and rising concerns about greenhouse gas pollution, the pursuit of advanced battery technologies has recently become paramount. Solid-state lithium-metal batteries hold the promise of substantial improvements in terms of both energy density and safety, as they would benefit from the high theoretical energy density (3861 mAh g−1) and the most negative standard reduction potential (3.040 V vs. SHE) of lithium as well as from the low flammability of the solid-state electrolyte. However, their widespread adoption depends upon the development of suitable electrolyte separators exhibiting high ionic conductivity at room and moderate temperatures. In his regard, imec has been developing a new concept of nanocomposite electrolyte which combines the mechanical properties of a solid with the fast ion mobility typically observed in liquids.

In this PhD research project, you will extend the knowhow to next generation nanocomposite solid electrolytes (nanoCSE) with the aim at integrating this novel electrolyte with the cathode and  lithium metal anode and build full battery cell. You will prepare nanocomposite electrolyte materials and investigate their physical, chemical, and electrochemical properties. You will define strategies to achieve a suitable mechanical strength for application in the cell and enhance the Li-ion conductivity. You will be working in a team together with other PhD students, researchers, and engineers, while collaborating with various universities, research institutes, and companies.

Required background: material science, chemistry, engineering

Type of work: experimental lab work

Supervisor: Philippe Vereecken

Co-supervisor: Daniele Di Lecce

Daily advisor: Valentin Smeets

The reference code for this position is 2024-113. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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