Elektrokemi för säkra och hållbara litiumbatterier med hög kapacitet
Tidsperiod: 2016-01-01 till 2019-12-31
Projektledare: Leif Nyholm
Budget: 3 200 000 SEK
Li-ion batteries serve very important functions in our everyday life. This research project focuses on the development of an improved understanding of the electrochemical processes limiting the safety, durability and capacity of lithium based batteries. The project will address a number of fundamental and crucial questions regarding lithium based batteries by focusing on the appropriate electrochemical reactions with the help of electrochemically synthesised nanostructured electrode materials. These questions concern e.g. the problem associated with electrodeposition of lithium yielding dendrites which may short-circuit the battery, the capacity losses seen upon cycling of lithium alloy forming and Li+-intercalation materials, the charge and discharge hysteresis and size of the accessible potential window for lithium alloy forming materials, and the influence of the dimensions of metal oxide nanotubes on their performance as electrode materials for Li-ion batteries. The proposed four-year research project, which will include studies of electrochemical reactions involving nanostructured electrodes composed of lithium, tin, tin oxide, copper, carbon and titanium oxide using state-of-the-art electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques, is based on our recent findings that nanostructured electrodes can serve as excellent model systems in electrochemical studies of Li-ion batteries as these electrodes, in contrast to conventional Li-ion battery electrodes, do not contain interfering binders and other additives and as the geometries of the electrodes can be varied straightforwardly. An improved understanding of electrochemical processes (i.e. lithium deposition, conversion reactions, alloy formation as well as associated volume expansion and double layer effects) affecting the lifetime, safety and electrochemical behaviour of lithium based electrodes is essential to the realisation of the next generation of lithium based batteries (including lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulphur batteries). The project, which will be organised in the form of subprojects dealing with the different research questions mentioned above, will mainly be carried out by a postdoc although parts of the work also could involve PhD students already working at the department. Based on our recent very interesting and promising findings it can be anticipated that the work will lead to results with significant scientific and practical impact. The overall scientific goal of the project is to hence generate new electrochemical knowledge facilitating the use of electrode materials such as lithium, tin, tin oxide and titanium oxide in safe and durable batteries with significantly improved energy densities and power capabilities.