Next generation battery concepts: new materials, concepts and operando characterization
The project targets the advancement of next generation battery concepts (NGB) where we aim to combine high energy density with meeting requirements on sustainability and cost. In particular we will look into conversion chemistries (e.g. lithium or sodium sulfur) and solid-state batteries, and even the possibility to combine these in solid state Li-S batteries. For the former we aim to improve the power performance to enable high capacity also at high rates. In order to realize these technologies we need to increase the understanding of the fundamental processes taking place under relevant conditions, e.g. at lean electrolyte conditions and high active material loading. For solid-state batteries the design of the electrolyte and its functional interfaces is central to increase both capacity and stability with e.g. functional interlayers. For both these emerging technologies, the use of Li-metal anodes is central to reach high energy density. In this project a central objective is to develop understanding and design routes for stable operation, with high Coulombic efficiency, of Li-metal cells. In particular we are interested to explore “anode-free” concepts, were no excess Li is present in the cell in order to maximize the energy density, or the use of self-supporting electrodes, removing the need for metallic current collectors.
In order to advance the concepts and develop new functional materials it is necessary to be able to follow processes on microscopic scales directly in operating cells under realistic conditions. Thus, a key activity in the project is the development and application of operando characterization tools to investigate materials and processes under as realistic conditions as possible. A particular aim is to have interoperability, i.e. the same cell and exact conditions in different set-ups and techniques, targeting both in-house (e.g. Raman spectroscopy) as well as synchrotron x-ray (e.g. MAX IV) facilities where we aim to use imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy instruments. With operando techniques we will be able to resolve the processes taking place at the interfaces to further develop interface concepts.
Organisations involved in the project
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Alexandar Matic, Chalmers University of Technology