Improving the safety of lithium batteries is arguably the top priority in battery development, and preventing cell gassing is particularly important since cell overpressure can potentially destroy the cell casing, which would cause the exposure of the toxic and reactive cell components to air.
Understanding the mechanism of battery degradation, with a focus on gas evolution, is a pre-requisite for the development of safer and more reliable Li-ion cells.In this project, an in-situ and in-operando mass spectrometry technique, recently developed in Southampton J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140 (4), pp 1428–1437, will be applied to unravel the mechanism of gas evolution from Li-ion cells. The technique allows the detection and quantification of gases (such as CO2, O2, CO, H2) during the electrochemical cycling of Li-ion cells. Particularly interesting would be the systematic study of the effect of the electrolyte and electrode materials (including materials with protective coatings) on the extent and composition of the gases evolved. The collaboration with HMGCC will be highly beneficial for the project, since they will provide expert advice on industrial standards and methods of electrode preparation for state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries.
In conclusion, this project will perform a systematic study based on the direct detection and quantification of Li-ion cell gassing, as well as the investigation of mitigation strategies by using novel electrolytes and protective coatings on electrode materials. The fundamental understanding and characterization of new materials and new material combinations will pave the way towards the development of safer and more reliable Li-ion batteries.
The project is funded for 3 years and welcomes applicants from the UK/EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in chemistry or allied subjects/relevant disciplines. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates (201718 and subject to increase in 201819) of £ 14,553 per annum.
Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants
General enquiries should be made to Nuria Garcia-Araez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any queries on the application process should be made to email@example.com
Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified