Study level

PhD

Master of Philosophy

Honours

Vacation research experience scheme

Faculty/School

Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Chemistry and Physics

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Professor Nunzio Motta
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

Overview

Australia boasts rich wind and solar energy resources. To avoid fluctuations placing severe burden on the power grids, a reliable and efficient battery storage is required.

The present technology based on lithium-ion batteries suffers from high manufacturing costs, poor safety and short life-span. Metal-polymer batteries are expected to overcome the storage and the charging speed of the traditional batteries in the near future, opening new avenues for renewable energy resources

Research activities

This project addresses energy storage at wind and solar power stations by developing new types of water-based batteries with superior safety, lower costs and longer life-spans.

Research activities can include:

  • film preparation by filtration methods
  • battery electrodes preparation on glass or polymers
  • microscopic studies through
    • scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
    • transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
    • atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • current-voltage (I-V) and capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements and data analysis.

The supervisory team has a strong track record and a wide range of expertise in energy storage, including carbon based and hybrid supercapacitors as well as advanced lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries.

You'll work in a well-established, highly collaborative research group environment using the most advanced instrumentation available at the Central Analytical Research Facility (CARF). This will provide you with an effective and rich learning experience.

Outcomes

Specific aims of the project include:

  • innovating the composition of electrode materials
  • elucidating the electrochemical energy storage mechanism
  • realising aqueous electrolytes active in a variety of temperatures (-30°C to +50°C)
  • developing pilot protocols for large-scale production
  • assembling the devices
  • measuring the CV and current discharge characteristics.

The project will provide an advanced understanding of metal-polymer batteries or hybrid supercapacitors, with a potential breakthrough in the creation of powerful and ultra-light energy storage devices for automotive and electronic applications.

Skills and experience

If you're a PhD student, we expect you to have previous experience in some of the preparation methods and a strong background in physics, chemistry or material science.

Scholarships

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

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

Contact

Contact the supervisor for more information.