Investigation of the influence of chemical process parameters on the performances of next generation of active materials for Na-ion batteries
Location: CIRIMAT – CNRS Univ. Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier
Start date: October 2023
Application dead line: 17th July 2023
To answer the growing need for energy storage, sodium based batteries are the most promising alternative to Li-ion systems to insure lower prices and increased safety. The work achieved within the French initiative on electrochemical storage of energy (www.energie-rs2e.com/fr) and the European Research Institute Alistore (www.alistore.eu) since 2010 resulted in the realization of the first 18650 prototype of Na-ion batteries. A second generation of Na-ion batteries with increased energy density and sustainable chemistry is currently under development with already identified potential active materials candidates such as low Ni content layered oxydes O3-NaMO2. However, the synthesis of sodium based materials is complex as for a given composition, multiple polymorphs can be stabilized. To anticipate the upscale of the production of this family of active materials, the proposed research project aims at determining, in cooperation with Umicore, an industrial group leader in the development of Li-ion cathodes materials and their recycling, the key parameters of the synthesis process and their influence of the properties of the obtained materials.
This research project focuses on the use of methods for operando investigation of the chemical process and ex situ characterization of obtained materials sodium based cathodes for Na-ion batteries. The study of the reactivity of precursors will be performed by the combination of Thermal Analysis (TGA, DTA) to determine thermodynamic data and operando X-ray diffraction techniques to identify the different compounds obtained at different temperatures while varying different synthesis process parameters. The physical and electrochemical properties of the different compounds will be evaluated by using dedicated techniques such as Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, Cyclic Voltammetry, … and related to the structure and microstructure.
To ensure the adequacy of tuned chemical process parameters with the upscale, stays at the industrial partner premises will be planned.
Candidates should have a strong background in Materials Sciences, Inorganic or Solid State Chemistry. Skills in electrochemistry will be appreciated.
Skills in summarizing and presenting results in English language are mandatory and ability to work in international teams will be seek.
How to apply?
A CV (two pages max) with names of references and a cover letter should be emailed to the supervisors.