Nanostructured Cathodes : A step on the path towards a fully interdigitated 3-D microbattery

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Oorganisk kemi


The Li-ion field of battery research has in the latest decades made substantial progress and is seen to be the most promising battery technology due to the high volume and specific energy densities of Li-ion batteries. However, in order to achieve a battery capable of competing with the energy density of a combustion engine, further research into new electrode materials is required. As the cathode materials are the limiting factor in terms of capacity, this is the main area in need of further research. The introduction of 3-D electrodes brought new hope as the ion transportpath is decreased as well as an increased electrode area leading to an increased capacity. This thesis work has focused on the development of aluminium 3-D current collectors in order to improve the electrode area and shorten the Li-ion transportpath. By using a template assisted electrodeposition technique, nanorods of controlled magnitude and order can be synthesized. Furthermore, the electrodeposition brings excellent possibilities of upscaling for future industrial manufacturing of the batterycells. A polycarbonate template material which showed interesting properties,was used in the electrodeposition of aluminium nanorods. As the template pores were nonhomogeneously ordered a number of nonordered nanorods were expected to arise during the deposition. However, a surplus of nanorods in reference to the template pores was acquired. This behavior was investigated and a hypothesis was formed as to the mechanism of the nanorod formation. In order to achieve acomplete cathode electrode, a coating of an ion host material on the nanorods isneeded. Due to its high capacity and voltage, vanadium oxide was selected. Based on previous work with electrodeposition of V2O5 on platinum, a series of experiments were performed to mimic the deposition on an aluminium sample. Unfortunately, the deposition was unsuccessful as the experimental conditions resulted in aluminium corrosion which in turn made deposition of the cathode material impossible. The pH dependence of the deposition was evaluated and the conclusion was drawn, that electrodeposition of vanadium oxide on aluminium is not possible using this approach.

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