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Materials and processing development for advanced Li ion batteries (2012 - 2014)
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Li ion batteries are the energy storage devices that provide highest voltage and capacities compared to other secondary batteries. Most Li ion batteries currently use liquid organic electrolytes. However, organic liquid electrolytes are mostly toxic and flammable. To improve the safety feature as well as the miniaturization capability of lithium ion batteries, a new cell design using solid electrolyte instead of liquid electrolytes has recently received a great deal of attention. In solid state Li ion battery, the cathode and anode will be separated by a dense inorganic solid electrolyte. Thus, it is very crucial to obtain a stable and highly conductive inorganic lithium ion conductor. In addition, the adverse reaction between solid electrolyte and electrodes need to be investigated and then be suppressed. It is important to investigate and resolve the materials and processing related problems in order to obtain desired battery performance.

The main objective of this proposed work is to develop near zero-volume change solid state batteries with high capacity and capacity retention, for prolonged operation or storage conditions to deliver a reliable power source for HEV or microbatteries applications.

This proposed international collaboration project will be integrated and conducted by three excellent research teams from Institute of Solid State Physics University of Latvia (Latvia), National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan) and Vilnius University (Lithuania). Each research team has its own expertise and experience on anode, cathode, and solid electrolyte materials for Li ion batteries.

The first two years of research will be devoted to the investigation and understanding of various electrochemical phenomena in the respective anode, cathode and solid electrolyte materials. By vary the chemical composition of each component system, structural, electrical, electrochemical properties will be characterized by using XRD, SEM, TEM, XPS, etc. The major tasks will be focused on sample preparation, materials processing, characterization and electrochemical testing in order to improve the electrochemical performance of the above mentioned electrodes and electrolyte materials. In the final year, the integration/assembly of developed materials by all research teams will be performed and all solid state Li ion batteries will be demonstrated.