ProjectsMaterials for electrochemical energy storage

Availability of appropriate energy storage capabilities is a key prerequisite for the renewable energy transition. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries based on electrochemical intercalation are currently the most efficient mobile energy storage systems known. Availability of appropriate electrode materials is however a severe bottleneck hindering improvements with regard to energy densities, cell voltage, capacities, cyclic performance, lifetime, etc. To a large extend, improvement of batteries is a materials science challenge as on the one hand new materials classes are to be identified while on the other hand optimization of known electrode materials are challenging engineering issues. Within the FS-MSE, we both investigate molecular-based electrode materials and the interfaces between anorganic electrode materials and functionalizing carbons. The former addresses redox-active organic electrode materials which high theoretical capacity, resource sustainability and molecule-level structural designability make them promising alternative candidates for traditional inorganic electrode materials. For anorganic battery materials, transforming a promising compound into an actual electrode material to be used in an actual battery demands extensive materials optimisation in particular with respect to embedding of carbons and the contact to the current collectors. We study linking of functional battery materials to mesoporous carbon nanostructures, carbon-nanocoating and atomic interface engineering of layered inorganic nanomaterials to graphene layers. Both mentioned topics require an interdisciplinary approach on the boundaries between chemistry, physics, and materials science.

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    Molecular structure of a battery
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    Scanning electron microscope pictures showing flower like structures of Magnesiumoxide, Vanadiumoxide and other micro-and nanostructure.
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    Diagramm showing the capacity of LiMnPO4 particles as a function of pH due to different aggregations.

Project Lead

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Klingeler