Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Composites for high power density Li-ion batteries

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   

Code Science Field
P360  Natural sciences and mathematics  Inorganic chemistry 
P401  Natural sciences and mathematics  Electrochemistry 
T140  Technological sciences  Energy research 
T150  Technological sciences  Material technology 
T152  Technological sciences  Composite materials 
lithium ion batteries, supercapacitors, composites, electrochemistry, material science
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  11517  PhD Marjan Bele  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  542 
2.  19277  PhD Robert Dominko  Materials science and technology  Head  2008 - 2011  739 
3.  28564  PhD Boštjan Erjavec  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  136 
4.  00582  PhD Miran Gaberšček  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  896 
5.  25788  PhD Boštjan Genorio  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2010 - 2011  318 
6.  10180  PhD Janko Jamnik  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  337 
7.  27920  Gregor Kapun  Chemistry  Researcher  2008 - 2011  102 
8.  14115  PhD Marjan Marinšek  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  563 
9.  24976  PhD Milena Martins  Materials science and technology  Technical associate  2008 - 2011  102 
10.  28561  PhD Jože Moškon  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  85 
11.  08353  PhD Barbara Novosel  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2009 - 2011  464 
12.  01859  PhD Radovan Stane Pejovnik  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  529 
13.  07557  PhD Klementina Zupan  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  240 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0103  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology  Ljubljana  1626990  23,317 
2.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,470 
Energy storage is unquestionably one of the great challenges in modern society. Exploitation of renewable energy sources (photovoltaic, wind energy, breaking energy, etc.) is credible if new power sources with both high energy density and, simultaneously, high power density are developed. One of the most serious candidates as appropriate energy conversion and storage systems are lithium ion batteries with high volumetric (300 Wh×kg-1) and gravimetric (130 Wh×kg-1) specific energy density. The proposed system has several advantages if compared to other types of batteries, like large capacity, energy density and working voltage. By contrast, the power density of Li batteries still cannot fulfil all the demands of consumers (a good example of high power products are hybrid electric vehicles (HEV)). This drawback can be alleviated by introduction of nanostructured materials with short diffusion paths for lithium in the solid matrix and a large surface area for minimization of reaction resistance. However, by introducing nanostructured materials we also introduce the problem of supplying the tiny material units with lithium ions and electrons (the problem is known as the problem of electrochemical wiring). This problem can, in principle, be overcome by the use of mesoporous and macroporous active materials with a wall thickness of about 10-20 nm. Short diffusion paths and porous matrix are two of three essential parameters for high power batteries. The third parameter, the proper electrical wiring, can be achieved by coating the porous material with a thin layer of electrically conductive layer. Even more, if the surface of active material is further coated with special phases that have ability to accommodate large amounts of lithium (as a buffer layer), we can expect to get a device having both a fast kinetics and a high energy density.
Significance for science
For the efficient energy storage in short time we need batteries that enable high power density. This is possible to achieve with a proper structuring of the electrode composite. Full understanding of the proper structuring of the electrode composite is available only in few research laboratories worldwide, namely special structuring is needed which enables parallel wiring of active material with electron and ions. Synthesis and structuring of the composites with parallel wiring is very complex and this research is very rare in the field of lithium ion batteries. We showed that with a proper approach some of selected electrode materials can be used as storage materials at low and at high current loadings. The concept shown on TiO2 based composites, where improvement of high power density with ceramic coatings was achieved, gave us a deep understand of the properties of this phenomenon where insulating ceramic additives significantly improve high rate performance of anatase phase. Results were published in several appears and reported as an oral contributions in energy related conferences. Different ceramic additives were tested in the combination with titanium oxide nanotubes and conclusion form this study can be summarized that the best electrochemical activity at high rates was achieved by optimal porosity. The mesoporous volume was found very important. We showed during the second year that such an approach can be used only with active materials that have activity in the stability window of electrolytes. This research is not just limited to the field of lithium ion batteries but also in other systems where we need to ensure uniform distribution of constituent in two phase systems, like solar cells or three phase systems, like fuel cells. Results of the work on this project have been published in the journals with the highest impact factor on the field of material science (one paper in Nature Materials and one paper in Advanced Materials) and on the field of electrochemistry (Electrochemistry Communications). Quality of the journals and citations that our papers already have show importance of our achievments on the field of science. Those measureable indicators point out the importance of the work for the science.
Significance for the country
Project is connected with research activities on the energy storage which have primary interest on the worldwide level. This confirms presence of many car companies with electric vehicles or hybrid electric vehicles on the market and others are announcing their cars in a year or two. Recent results obtained on this project is promoting our project group and research group to the top world class groups, what is at the same time also a promotion for Slovenia as a country on the research field and within the group of potential industrial partners interested into this kind of research. Results in this project have been reported in two invited lectures and several oral presentations in almost all important meetings of materials society and lithium ion batteries society. During the second year of the project two Erasmus Mundus master students (one from France and one from Cameron) joined our group and they performed research within the scope of the project. Both students successfully defeat their master thesis and they are continuing their research as PhD students in European laboratories, which belong to the virtual laboratory on Li-ion batteries (ALISTORE-ERI). Our activity and the activity of our former students in this network are making our visibility to whole European institutes and Universities in the area of energy storage as well as to all European industry on this field. This is at the same time also promotion for Slovenia. During the project duration, two young researchers financed by Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) were actively involved into the work on the project. First, who studied kinetics mechanisms during battery operation and thermodynamic efficiency of lithium ion batteries, has finished his PhD in November 2011 and the second one who worked on the preparation techniques for batteries composites (for high power lithium ion batteries) and their characterization is having PhD defense at the end of April 2011. During his last one and half of year he was also a partial employee of the co-financing company (Iskra TELA, PE baterije ZMAJ) and he is going to take a partial position of the researcher also after PhD defense. Nevertheless that our project partner is not a producer of Li-ion batteries, this work has direct and indirect impact on our industrial partner Iskra TELA, PE baterije ZMAJ. With this project they have insight into new technologies and the latest achievements on this field and they can use the knowledge from the project for improvements of their products, what has an impact on their stability and economy. Furthermore project coordinator helps them in activities connected with a development of new products which will rely on the Li-ion batteries and solar panels.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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