About the Project
Start Date: September/October 2020
For the majority of conventional Li-ion batteries, even with advanced material components, such traditional materials function well in everyday applications but may become performance limiting when used in extreme environments. HMGCC is interested in developing novel approaches to better characterise temperature effects in order to improve Li-ion / polymer battery performance in such extreme conditions. Smarter ways of modifying or engineering surfaces to enable the tolerance of higher temperatures will be integral to this study.
HMGCC is an organisation focussed on ensuring UK Government communications are highly effective, completely reliable and totally secure. As such, The Power Sources Centre (PSC) within HMGCC has a remit to research, develop and manufacture battery technology for a wide range of applications.
The challenges outlined above will be addressed through this PhD and use of WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Technology Strategy Board High Value Manufacturing Catapult funded Energy Innovation centre includes a battery research and manufacturing facility. This allows effective integration of the basic and applied research around materials, manufacture and assembly & characterisation of both lithium and sodium-ion pouch cells and will be used by the student to deliver the research.
• Investigating the effects of high temperature on multiple performance aspects of a variety of Li-ion / Li-polymer cell formats
• Surface protection approaches for cathode materials against the effects of high temperature, to improve lifetime, with parallel characterisation of electrochemical degradation phenomena
• Structural and chemical characterisation of degradation e.g. grain boundary and SEI dynamics, with comparative demonstrations of protected material improvements. Analysis will include post-mortem characterisations of cell contents.
• Comprehensive electrochemical characterisation of all cell formats will include: cyclic voltammetry, charge-discharge cycling, differential capacity and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
ESSENTIAL AND DESIRABLE CRITERIA
Applicants should have a minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) in science and technology field: Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics or Engineering.
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