Transition metal oxides with hierarchical micro-to-nano-structues for lithium ion battery applications  (Prof C S Lee)

Lithium-ion battery (LIB) with advantages of high specific capacity, high voltage, wide operating temperature range and long lifetime span, has been a dominant form of power storage in the 21st century. At present, development of LIB has attracted worldwide focus, including the high-tech energy industries in China. The aims of this project is to different high performance anode for LIBs using transition metal oxide with hierarchical micro-to-nano-structues.

While transition metal oxides (MxOy) as anode materials of LIBs have advantages of high capacity and good operation safety, they often suffer from large initial irreversible capacity loss and poor cycling performance, which are mainly resulted from large volume changes, particle pulverization, agglomeration, and solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layers formed during charge/discharge processes. On the other hand, the use of nanoparticles with large surface areas show a dilemma that while the small particle size facilitates lithium ions insertion/extraction, the formation of a large amount of SEI layer degrade the capacity. In this project, MxOy hierarchical architectures with micro- to nano- dimensions will be prepared and applied as anodes of LIBs. The proposed MxOy hierarchical structures have the advantages of short lithium ion diffusion length, facile strain relaxation upon structural and volume changes, and efficient electron transport pathway. These provide promising means to address the challenges of initial irreversible capacity loss, poor cycling stability, poor rate capability and capacity fading in conventional LIBs.

Supervisor: Prof C S Lee (;; )

Suitable for: Ph.D.