A PhD Studentship is available to investigate novel materials as positive electrodes for Na-ion batteries. It involves material synthesis using solid state routes and soft chemistry ones, structure determination and electrochemical characterizations. The work will be carried out at both the CIRIMAT and ICGM.
To answer the growing need for energy storage, sodium-based batteries are the most promising alternative to Li-ion systems to insure lower prices and increased safety. In the frame of the French initiative on electrochemical storage of energy (www.energie-rs2e.com/en) and of the European Research Institute Alistore (www.alistore.eu), research started back in 2010 allowed the realization of the first prototype of Na-ion batteries leading in 2017 to the creation of the start-up Tiamat (www.tiamat-energy.com/en/). To propose a second generation of Na-ion batteries with increased energy density, the proposed project aims at studying new positive electrode materials mainly belonging to the “layered family” with general formulae NaxMO2 (M = transition metal) for which the wide range of accessible chemical compositions allows the fine tuning of parameters governing the electrochemical behavior. The know-how already widely developed for Li-based homologues will be transferred to the Na system to optimize the selection of best materials. Synthetic processes will be developed to increase solid solution homogeneity range and to master microstructural features of the most promising materials. The electrochemical behavior will be studied in half cells and full cells and the mechanism associated to the reversible exchange of Na studied by the use of in operando characterization techniques located at both hosting laboratories and through shared platforms in the framework of RS2E.
Keywords: solid state chemistry, materials science, batteries, energy storage
Candidates should have a degree in Materials Sciences; Chemistry or related discipline. Skills in materials for electrochemical storage of energy will be appreciated. The fellow will be trained in techniques to characterize the electrochemical behavior of the material in the hosting labs or via different summer schools.
The three-year studentship is tenable from October 2019 (or shortly afterwards) with a gross salary of about 1850€/month.
A two-page CV (with the names of two references) and a cover letter should be emailed by 30 July 2019 to the supervisors: P. Rozier (firstname.lastname@example.org) et R. Berthelot (email@example.com)