Chalmers University of Technology
Stabilising the unstable metal anodes for next generation battery technology
The target of this project is to advance research on metal anodes for application in next generation Li-metal batteries. A main roadblock in the implementation of this technology is the low efficiency of Li plating/stripping during cycling caused by the formation of dendritic, porous and inactive Li structures, leading to increased cell resistance, short cycle life, and safety concerns. Our aim is to to i) build a fundamental understanding on the plating/stripping of metal anodes based on operando advanced characterization, ii) propose and evaluate stabilization strategies, such as functional interlayers or host structures promoting uniform deposition. We will experimentally investigate the evolution of the interface during cycling by synchrotron X-ray tomography and the challenge is to increase the spatial resolution (to around 100 nm) to capture the initial stages of metal plating involving nucleation and growth processes, and evolution of nanostructure during stripping, while maintaining a realistic cell configuration and following the process in real time.
Next generation Li-metal batteries are a crucial component for realising future energy storage technologies such as high-capacity chemistries (e.g. conversion chemistry as in Li-sulphur batteries), new active anode materials (such as Na, K, Zn to replace Li), and new configurations (as in all-solid-state batteries). Advancements are needed to meet the demands on sustainability, capacity, safety and cost of future energy storage systems for sustainable transportation and power grid applications. It paves way for use of sustainable materials (such as Zn, Mg, and S) in future energy storage technology.
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