Engineering & the Environment
Friday 30 June 2017
Aluminum-ion (Al-ion) batteries, offer lower cost more abundant electrode materials, higher thermal stability and higher theoretical energy density than lithium-ion batteries. Al-ion batteries are not yet well characterized, with only a few publications, mainly focusing on individual electrodes. Using an aqueous electrolyte offers cost, recycling and chemical handling advantages over other proposed Al-ion chemistries and conventional Li-ion batteries. The project aligns to the Governments Industrial Strategy on New Energy Technologies and will further develop the aqueous Al-ion battery currently being pioneered at the University of Southampton. This is a completely novel system and to progress it beyond bench-scale proof of concept, it is vital to understand the mechanism of charge storage. Once the mechanism is identified, the active materials can then correctly be tailored for intercalation (crystal structure, doping of TiO2) or charge transfer (surface morphology). As such the following tasks will be undertaken:
• Mechanistic evaluation utilizing in-situ XRD and µ-VIS high-resolution X-Ray computed tomography at the University of Southampton along with neutron tomography (IMAT), diffraction (GEM and Polaris) and spectroscopy (TOSCA) characterization in collaboration with Prof. Martin-Owen Jones at the ISIS neutron and muon spallation facility.
• Using the mechanistic data, development of unit cells optimized for either intercalation chemistry or surface redox processes.
• Development and testing of a multi-cell, high power demonstration battery pack.
This PhD project will be funded as part of the UK governments new Industrial Strategy. The scholarship will cover full UK fees and a stipend of between £16k and £18k per year depending on academic qualifications.
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Richard Wills, Energy Technology research group, Email: , Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 7615.