The ICMCB-CNRS Laboratory at the University of Bordeaux (France),
The LRCS Laboratory at the University Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens, France),
The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL, Grenoble, France)
jointly invite applications for a
three-year PhD program (starting Oct. 2015)
BATTERIES SCRUTINIZED IN DEPTH WITH NEUTRONS
This PhD proposal aims at strengthening our expertise and developing new approaches/techniques in the systematic structural investigation of inorganic materials used as electrodes for lithium- and sodium-ion batteries: determination of phase transformation mechanisms when these materials are reduced/oxidized during battery operation.
An important collaborative work was engaged 3 years ago between ICMCB Bordeaux, LRCS Amiens, ILL Scientists and Technical staff from various beamlines. Indeed, we recently designed a (Ti,Zr)-based electrochemical cell (ILLBATT#1) which allows to follow in-situ and operando the structural modifications (new metastable phase formations, solid solutions, changes in crystallinity etc...) associated with the reversible insertion/extraction of alkali cations from the positive and/or negative electrodes of Li-ion (Na-ion...) batteries. When used in the high flux D20 beamline of ILL, this cell provides very high quality diffraction patterns from which crystal structures can be refined by the Rietveld method.
The project proposed for this PhD will be focused on new very challenging goals, summarized hereafter:
- Technical improvements of the existing liquid electrolyte-based cell (ILLBATT#1) and optimization of deuterated liquid electrolytes compositions to be used with high voltage electrode materials and/or at higher temperature,
- Development of a NEW cell (ILLBATT#2) for dry ceramic All Solid State Batteries operating between 300K and 600K,
- Investigation of alkali diffusion paths within electrode materials and/or ceramic solid electrolytes, through T-controlled neutron diffraction and analysis of data using the Maximum Entropy Method,
- Determination of insertion/deinsertion mechanisms for electrochemical systems of interest at both academic and industrial levels, in collaboration with partner institutions of the RS2E French Network on the Electrochemical Energy Storage (http://www.energie-rs2e.com/fr) and of the Alistore European Research Institute (http://alistore.eu/) including academic laboratories, the CEA, the ALBA and SOLEIL Synchrotron facilities as well as industrial partners.
The PhD project will be located mainly in Grenoble (France) at the ILL, with regular short periods of stay in Bordeaux (France) at the ICMCB – University of Bordeaux and in Amiens (France) at the LRCS - University of Picardie Jules Verne. The successful candidate will be employed for a period of up to three years, with a gross salary of around 2350 €/month, together with other benefits depending on the student’s social status (for more details see: http://www.ill.eu/science-technology/phd-students/phd-recruitment/phd-work-at-the-ill/).
Applicants should have a degree from a relevant Master Course (Solid State Chemistry, Solid State Physics, Materials Science, Inorganic Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion, ...). Academic knowledge of condensed matter physics and excellent communication skills will be highly appreciated. A strong interest of the candidate in designing challenging scientific tools is essential for the success of the project. The candidate should also demonstrate abilities to work independently.
Supervisors: Laurence Croguenne (Bordeaux), Christian Masquelier (Amiens), Emmanuelle Suard (Grenoble).