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Discovery of new solid state electrolytes for lithium batteries

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  • Full or part time
    Prof M J Rosseinsky
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted

Project Description

A 4 year PhD in the discovery of new solid electrolytes for lithium batteries. You will synthesis new materials, measure their ion transport properties and understand their behaviour with a wide range of structural and spectroscopic characterisation methods, working in a multidisciplinary team that integrates experimental and computational approaches. The position forms part of the Faraday Institution SOLBAT project on solid state batteries.

In the quest towards safer and higher capacity batteries, the development of an all-solid-state battery is a top priority, and is currently limited by the lack of a high-performance material to serve as a solid state electrolyte. The interplay of many considerations including structure, bonding, and defect chemistry makes for a challenging opportunity to develop a material that is both stable and is able to rapidly conduct ions in the solid state. To discover new higher-performance materials, there is an ever increasing need to explore more complicated phase space, making exploration difficult through synthesis efforts alone. To this end, an integrated computational and experimental workflow has been developed to efficiently identify new target materials for experimental investigation.

This project will utilise this established computation-experiment workflow to target novel structural families of mixed anion solid electrolytes with high conductivity and electrochemical stability. The project will combine synthetic solid state chemistry, advanced structural analysis (crystallography, NMR) and measurement of physical properties to assess material performance. The student will work within a multidisciplinary team of computational, inorganic, and materials chemists to identify, isolate and process these new materials. The project forms part of the SOLBAT project of the Faraday Institution, integrating materials discovery with work on cell interfaces and manufacturing.

Funding for the studentship will be provided through the Faraday Institution and the student will make use of the world-class synthetic and characterisation facilities available in the newly-opened Materials Innovation Factory at the University of Liverpool.
Please apply by completing the online postgraduate research application form. Please ensure you quote the following reference on your application: Discovery of new solid state electrolytes for lithium batteries.

Applications are welcomed from students with a 2:1 or higher master’s degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, or Materials Science.

Funding Notes

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant (UKRI National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2019/20 is £15,009 pa) and it is anticipated that the successful candidate will start in October 2019. The stipend is enhanced by the Faraday Institution to £20,262 per annum and a generous package to cover training costs. Recipients will have access to multiple networking opportunities, industry visits, a mentor, internships as well as quality experiences that will further develop knowledge, skills and aspirations. Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the EPSRC website.

References

Accelerated discovery of two crystal structure types in a complex inorganic phase field. Nature 546, 280-284 (2017); http://doi.org/10.1038/nature22374
Lithium Transport in Li4.4M0.4M′0.6S4 (M = Al3+, Ga3+, and M′ = Ge4+, Sn4+): Combined Crystallographic, Conductivity, Solid State NMR, and Computational Studies. Chem. Mater. 30, 7183-7200 (2018); https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b03175



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