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Fabrication and characterisation of high performance battery materials

Study level

PhD

Master of Philosophy

Faculty/Lead unit

Science and Engineering Faculty

Science and Engineering Faculty

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Professor Cheng Yan
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

Overview

In the current era of Li-ion batteries, there is an ever-growing demand for even higher energy densities to power mobile devices with increased power consumption and to extend the driving range of electric vehicles. The energy density of a rechargeable battery is determined mainly by the specific capacities and operating voltages of the anode and the cathode. In recent years, active materials have been the main focus of research.

Alloy-type Si, Sn, P and Al anodes are demonstrating great promise with great theoretical capacity. Unfortunately, these new high-capacity electrode materials usually have massive volume changes during the charge/discharge process due to their intake of large amounts of lithium as compared to traditional electrode materials (<10%). Over the last 10 years, limited improvements have been achieved by adopting nanostructured and composite electrodes.

Research activities

The project aims to develop and characterize new electrode materials. The collective material behavior during electrochemical cycles will be investigated via novel techniques such as in situ microscopy observation, materials testing and/or atomistic modeling.

Outcomes

Lithium ion batteries (LIBs), commercially released for the first time by SONY and Asahi Kasei Corporation in 1991, have become the main power sources for mobile electronics and large scale emerging applications, including various types of electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage for utility grids.

However, despite their widespread application, developing high-performance battery system without compromising stability, cost and safety standards remains a formidable challenge. Enormous efforts have been devoted toward the optimization of battery components in order to address these issues. Australia is playing a very important role in developing materials and devices for storage of sustainable energy.

The expected outcomes of this project will further expand the Australia’s knowledge base and research capability in these areas. In particular, it can assist local industry with effective methods and easy to-use guidelines for product design in development of next generation high energy density batteries.

Skills and experience

The students are expected to have some interests, knowledge and experience in materials science, chemistry, nanotechnology or mechanical engineering.

Scholarships

You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

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