NWO-ECHO grant for Petra de Jongh

Petra de Jongh and colleague researchers from RU Nijmegen receive the NWO-ECHO grant on theresearch topic ‘Nanoconfined complex metal hydrides as fast ion conductors for all-solid-state batteries’.

A new generation batteries?
Charging and discharging a battery implies that charged species (ions) need to shuttle rapidly from one side of the battery to the other. At room temperature ions can move fastly through liquids, but generally only very slowly through solids. Hence today’s lithium-ion batteries contain liquids, while avoiding them might lead to safer, more durable, and lighter batteries.
De Jongh: “We surprisingly found that if a lithium-ion containing solid material is confined to the very small pores of a silica scaffold, lithium-ion movement in the solid becomes about three orders of magnitude faster at room temperature. We want to investigate the origin of this effect, how it can be explored to reach high ionic mobilities, and whether these electrolytes can be used to design a new generation of all-solid state batteries based on fast ion conducting solids.”

In 2015 Petra de Jongh and collaborators published an article on the same topic, entitled ‘Nanoconfined LiBH4 as a Fast Lithium Ion Conductor’ in Advanced Functional Materials.

ECHO stands for ‘Excellent CHemisch Onderzoek’ (Excellent CHemical Research).
This grant provides researchers an opportunity and freedom to strengthen and expand excellent, challenging and innovative lines of research. These new ideas could form the basis of future research topics.

At this years applicant round, a number of 169 applications for an ECHO have been submitted, of which 16 awards have been granted.