The labs of the ICC group will be closed February and March 2020. Please consider this in your planning of a MSc project with us.
as of 14.10.2019 we can unfortunately not host any more MSc students. We can again host MSc students in period 4. The calls below are open but projects can not start before period 4.
Supervisor: Peter Ngene and Laura de Kort
Short project description:
Novel solid-state electrolytes for next generation rechargeable batteries.
Lithium-ion battery is the dominant energy storage technology for portable electronic devices. However, due to the limited energy density, safety issues and high cost, there is a profound interest to develop a next-generation batteries such as all-solid-state batteries in which liquid electrolytes are replaced with solid-state electrolytes, and thereby overcoming the limitations of the current Li-ion batteries. Sodium based batteries are also attractive due to the low cost of sodium. These next generation batteries hold much promise for large scale storage of intermittent energy from renewable sources, and for electric vehicles. A crucial step towards the realization of these next generation batteries is the development solid-state electrolytes with the desired properties.[1,2]
In this project, we will develop novel class of solid-state Li or Na ion conductors based on low melting point compounds that are known to have good interfacial contact with high energy density electrode materials. Unfortunately, the low melting temperature compounds of interest exhibit low ionic conductivity at room temperature. Therefore, the focus of this project is to achieve high ionic conductivity in these compounds using interface engineering. Here, the interfacial effects arising from nanoconfinement of sodium or lithium-based ionic compounds in nanoporous scaffolds (metal oxides or zeolites) will be exploited/controlled to achieve high Na or Li-ion conductivities in the compounds. This approach has been successfully utilized in our laboratory to improve the ionic conductivity of Li-based and Na-based complex hydrides(LiBH4 and NaBH4)  but the impact on other classes of sodium/lithium compounds have not been investigated. The synthesized nanocomposites (samples) and batteries will be studied using several characterization techniques, such as XRD, nitrogen physisorption, IR, Raman, TGA, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) DSC, NMR, XPS XRS (x-ray Raman Scattering) and neutron depth profiling.
 Bachman, J. C.; et al., Inorganic solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries: mechanisms and properties governing ion conduction. Chemical reviews 2015, 116 (1), 140-162.
 Zhang, Z.; et al., New horizons for inorganic solid state ion conductors. Energy & Environmental Science 2018, 11 (8), 1945-1976.
 Blanchard, D.; et al. Nanoconfined LiBH4 as a fast lithium ion conductor. Advanced Functional Materials 2015, 25 (2), 184-192.