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Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg Featured PhD Programmes
University of Edinburgh Featured PhD Programmes

Investigation of novel electrode structure for a new class of conversion electrode materials in solid-state batteries by in operando X-ray and neutron imaging

Department of Engineering

Dr Ann Huang , Dr Thomas Connolley , Dr Oxana Magdysyuk , Dr Genoveva Burca Monday, March 22, 2021 Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Solid-state Li metal batteries (SSLMBs) are an emerging type of battery that uses a solid-state electrolyte (SSE) material to replace the conventional flammable liquid electrolyte. A piece of Li metal foil replaces the conventional graphite anode. SSLMBs have the potential for improving battery operational safety while doubling the specific energy of current Li ion batteries. However, two main obstacles that restrict the energy storage performance of SSLMBs are low ion diffusivity of the SSE and low capacity of the cathode material to match that of the Li metal anode. Although some high capacity electrode materials have been proposed, these materials usually undergo significant volume changes during battery charge and discharge that can fracture the entire battery.

This studentship project aims to (i) develop new SSE materials and a new class of conversion electrode materials that increase capacity; (ii) develop new electrodes that accommodate large volume changes and increase battery cycle life, and (iii) develop the experimental setup which is suitable for X-ray and Neutron tomography measurements of batteries. This studentship project will use novel synchrotron X-ray Compton scattering imaging, X-ray computed tomography (XCT) and neutron tomography to reveal the effects of materials and structures on the dynamic Li in SSLMBs. Observation of morphological changes will inform on how to prevent battery fracture in SSLMBs. This new understanding will contribute to optimising the potentially transformative materials and structures of SSE and electrode for the next generation of batteries in order to maintain battery safety while still improving battery specific energy and cycle life.

During this studentship, the student will be based first at KCL, then the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to carry out work and Diamond Light Source and the ISIS Neutron Source.

To be considered for the position, candidates must apply via King’s

Apply online application system. Details are available at https://www.kcl.ac.uk/engineering/postgraduate/research-degrees

Please indicate your desired supervisors in your application and all correspondence.

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents, if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.

Funding Notes

This four-year PhD studentship will provide full tuition fees for a student with home fee status, this status also includes an EU student who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK prior to the start date of their PhD. The tax-free stipend will be £35,678 over the duration of the studentship.
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