Design and discovery of new non-oxide based materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

Compared to oxide materials, less effort has been expended on the development of polar non-oxide compounds of the metallic elements. This project will develop new classes of non-oxide extended solid, through synthesis of new compositions and detailed structural and property characterisation. These materials will be evaluated for properties of interest for a range of applications, for example as electrolytes in solid-state batteries, which is taken as the example in what follows.
The superior performance of Lithium-ion batteries due to factors such as high energy density, large electrochemical stability window and long lifetime make them the current technology of choice for portable, rechargeable devices. It would be desirable to address current safety issues that may limit the use of Lithium-ion batteries for large-scale technologies such as electric vehicles.
Organic solvents are used as part of the electrolyte in current Li-ion systems. The flammable nature of these compounds mean Li-ion batteries can pose a severe safety risk if they are operated outside of their limited temperature range. Furthermore, dendritic growth through the electrolyte can lead to short circuiting of the battery system meaning (irrespective of it having an extremely high theoretical charge capacity) Li cannot currently be used as an anode material limiting the overall capacity that Lithium-ion batteries can have with current anode materials. A possible solution to these issue comes in the form of solid state electrolytes and thus all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) that act as a separator and an electrolyte, have higher safety and a high energy density when compared to their liquid electrolyte counterparts.
Using new syntheses and a range of characterisation techniques (including multiple source diffraction, impedance, solid state NMR and electrochemical stability characterisation) we will investigate new solid state electrolyte materials for use in ASSBs, exploring for example chalcogenide-based materials.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513271/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2094410 Studentship EP/R513271/1 10/09/2018 09/06/2022 Kate Thompson