Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) with a solid-state electrolyte can potentially solve two key limitations of today's LIBs with liquid electrolytes, namely, safety issues due to the flammability of the electrolyte solution and cycle life time issues due to unwanted side-reactions at the solid/liquid interface. The improved safety and potentially extended lifetime of solid-state LIBs makes them highly desired, however, finding a solid-state electrolyte with Li+ conductivity comparable to the existing liquid electrolytes (1-10 mS/cm) that also exhibits good electrochemical stability turns out to be extremely challenging. Utilizing heterogeneous doping in composite electrolytes is one promising concept for solving these challenges. Heterogeneous doping refers to the significantly enhanced ion transport that occurs at the interface between an oxide insulator and a Li-ion conductor. Through combinations of oxides, surface functionalization and Li-ion conductors the conductivity of the interface region can be further optimized.
This thesis project focuses on gaining fundamental insights in the interface conductivity between oxides and Li-ion conductors. The interface conductivity will be benchmarked to bulk conductivities using a thin‐film platform with emphasis on interface control and functionalization, both through gas‐phase deposition and sputter deposition. Controlled deposition of thin film electrolyte layers using sputter deposition or atomic layer deposition will be a big part of the project. Next to the process optimization and physical characterization, large effort will go into the electrical and electrochemical characterization of the bulk electrolyte and the interface region. The experimental work of the project is carried out at imec facilities. Next to the fully equipped battery lab and thin‐film deposition facilities, the imec state‐of-the‐art nanofabrication and characterization facilities will be available to carry out the research.
Type of project: Thesis
Duration: 8 months
Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science, Master of Bioengineering
Required background: Bioscience Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Simon Hollevoet (Simon.Hollevoet@imec.be)
Only for self-supporting students.