Nanoconfined complex hydrides as fast ion conductors for rechargeable batteries
The development of efficient energy storage systems is a key ingredient to facilitate wide-spread use of energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. A promising option is the use of high energy density rechargeable batteries. One of the major obstacles to realizing such high energy density batteries is the development of solid state fast ion conductors needed to realize all solid state rechargeable cells . The light-weight complex hydrides especially those based on Li and Na have recently attracted significant attention as promising electrolyte materials for all solid-state Li and Na ion batteries . Unfortunately these materials do not show sufficient ionic conductivity at ambient temperatures which is required for most battery applications.
It was recently discovered that the Li-ion conductivity of the complex hydride LiBH4 can be increased by about three orders of magnitude at room temperature when nanoconfined in mesoporous silica scaffolds [3-4]. The exact origin of this effect is not clear yet but is related to enhance Li-ion mobility resulting from possible interaction between LiBH4 and silica pore walls in the nanocomposites. The major aim of this project is to obtain a profound understanding of the origin of the increase conductivity upon nanoconfinement, and how this can be optimized to realize stable and high energy density all-solid state rechargeable batteries. The effects of nanoconfinement on the ionic conductivity of Li, Na, Mg and Al based complex hydrides will be investigated using different nanoscaffold materials.
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