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European Industrial Doctorate in Innovative POLYmers for Lithium Battery TEchnologies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - POLYTE (European Industrial Doctorate in Innovative POLYmers for Lithium Battery TEchnologies)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-12-31

POLYTE-EID was an Industrial Doctorate Project funded by the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (H2020-MSCA-ITN-EID-2017) that aimed to offer excellent training opportunities to three Early Stage Researchers (ESR) in the area of Innovative Polymers for Lithium Battery Technologies.
POLYTE-EID put together the expertise in batteries of Toyota Motor Europe (TME, Belgium) with the academic excellence in polymers of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU - POLYMAT, Spain).
Three ESRs have been trained in multidisciplinary aspects of research and training expertise areas; including polymer chemistry, ionic liquids, polymer physics, advanced characterization methods, electrochemistry and electrochemical energy storage technologies, such as lithium metal, lithium-ion or lithium-air battery technologies.
The overall objective of the project was the development of new polymeric materials to increase the performance and safety of the current and future batteries.
Overall, the three ESRs have been able to successfully carry out their PhDs and greatly enhance their career perspectives. Within their research projects, four all-solid lithium metal battery prototypes were developed; two lithium-ion batteries were evaluated exceeding the performance of current standards; new organic batteries were proposed; and up to 3 new types of Li-O2 cell prototypes were proposed. The result of this work translated in 11 scientific publications in top journals and 3 patent applications.
Within this project, novel polymers for the development of lithium solid-state batteries have been designed and characterized by different electrochemical, mechanical and spectroscopic techniques. Results are very promising and they show encouraging performance in different type of battery cells (lithium metal, lithium-ion, organic batteries and Li-O2 batteries).
The project has also carried out a number of dissemination activities which included the organization of a workshop, training events, the participation of the fellows in outreach activities and the set-up of a project webpage. The efforts put on the technical development of this project translated in 11 scientific publications in top journals and 3 patent applications.
The overall progress of the project has been in line with the initial objectives of developing greener, cheaper and safer rechargeable lithium batteries for electric/hybrid vehicles for the automotive industry. A broad range of polymers to be processed and assembled into electrochemical energy storage devices have been developed. Furthermore, some of them showed superior performance in some battery prototypes (e.g. lithium ion technologies).

One of the key impacts of the POLYTE-EID project has been to enhance the career perspectives and employability of three ESR researchers and contribute to their skills development. To accomplish this, the ESRs have been exposed to both academic and industrial environments during the course of the project. In addition, they have attended several training and dedicated schools and international conferences where they have shown the main achievements accomplished and the main societal implications of the project.