Electrolyte materials are at the core of many technologies linked to green and sustainable future development such as batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells, electrochromic ‘smart’ windows, sea-water desalination, electrolytic hydrogen production. Research efforts in batteries have been focused on the dichotomy between the mutually exclusive advantages and disadvantages of solids vs. liquid electrolytes. Here, I propose an ambitious and innovative approach to achieve the best of both worlds through mesophasic, inorganic plastic crystal electrolytes, which feature solid-like macroscopic behavior but liquid-like local dynamics.
A key feature of such plastic crystals is the rotational motion of the polyanions (e.g. sulfate, (thio-)phosphate) that is suspected to have a synergistic effect with the ionic migration ('paddle-wheel-' or 'rotating-door' effect) of small cations such as Li and Na that are key to the function of electrochemical devices. The goal of this project is to investigate this synergy between molecular rotations and ionic displacements at the atomic scale, with the goal of developing more performant solid electrolyte materials for applications such as next generation batteries. This is to be done by investigating the structure and dynamics of plastic crystals through combining my expertise in synthesis and diffraction with the host group’s expertise in NMR and DFT methodologies.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologychemical engineeringseparation technologiesdesalination
- engineering and technologychemical engineeringseparation technologiesdistillation
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsfuel cells
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsrenewable energyhydrogen energy
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme