Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscopy of Next Generation Li-ion Batteries for Large-Scale Energy Storage

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Chemistry


Whilst renewable sources of energy (e.g. wind and solar) are making an increasing contribution to immediate global electricity demand, there is a need to store energy for use on demand. These demands include transportation, night time usage and the need to balance load across the power grid. The need for large-scale storage of intermittent sources of renewable energy and the envisaged rapid deployment of electric powered vehicles has significantly stimulated battery research. Whilst Li ion batteries (LIBs) are ubiquitous for consumer electronics with a relatively short lifespan, there is a major challenge to develop battery technologies with > 10 year lifetime that can be rapidly charged, do not degrade after charge/discharge cycles, and use sustainable and safe materials.
The primary aim of this proposal is to gain fundamental understanding, at an atomistic level, of the ion dynamics in nanoporous oxide films, which can be used as the anode or cathode of a battery, and to study the processes that limit their performance. To gain direct atomistic structural information, this project will use state-of-the-art time-resolved transmission electron microscopy. Structural changes and ion mobility will be tracked on the second timescale under electrical bias to mimic a functioning battery. In addition, the electron microscope at York has a unique capability to examine materials under liquid or gaseous environments which will also allow the investigation of potential failure mechanisms arising from changes in temperature and exposure to air. The project is a collaboration between chemistry and physics with ample opportunity to gain cross-disciplinary knowledge of experimental and theoretical methodologies.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513386/1 01/10/2018 31/12/2023
2269410 Studentship EP/R513386/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2022 Connor Murrill