Development of Green and Safe Electrolytes for Metal Ion Batteries

Study level

PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Background

Metal ion batteries (such as lithium, potassium, and sodium) where alkali metal ions shuttles between positive and negative electrodes, have been extensively studied due to their high energy density and long cycle life. However, the flammable electrolytes such as carbonate limits their practical applications. For instance, failure of lithium-ion batteries has led to public safety concerns in recent years. Thus, exploring green and safe electrolytes with excellent electrochemical performance is vital for the development of sustainable batteries. This project aims to develop green and safe ionic liquid based electrolytes for metal-ion batteries.

Research Activities

The project is experimental in nature and will involve following steps: (1) Synthesis of non-flammable electrolytes, (2) physico-chemical characterizations of resultant electrolytes. (3) Fabrication of batteries (coin and pouch cell designs) and their performance evaluation. The student will work in expert and highly motivated research team, providing the opportunity for an effective and rich learning experience.

Outcomes

The project will advance a knowledge around the development of green, safe and non-flammable electrolytes for metal-ion batteries that have the potential to deliver reliable and affordable stationary storage and power for home applications. The main outcomes will provide the “know-how” and “know-why” for designing and manufacturing electrolytes for practical applications with desired properties. The excellent results will be communicated through scientific publications in leading international journals, presentations at professional conferences, and technical patents. The key scientific achievements will be presented at oral/invited talks at specialised international/domestic conferences and at leading international institutions. The project will open new opportunities for industry-based grant applications (CRC and ARC) as well as develop a skilled scientist to easily absorb in the industry.

Skills and experience

Background in chemistry, physics and materials engineering all are welcome.