The Department of Electrolytes is dedicated to the development and optimization of relevant electrolytes for energy storage, especially polymer electrolytes and liquid electrolytes. The materials develop-ment is based on fundamental aspects such as achievement of optimal charge carrier transport proper-ties, but also is supported by the necessities of possible application scenarios.
Characterisation and Simulation
Knowledge-based tailoring of the respective electrolyte properties requires not only electrochemical characterization at the highest technical and scientific level, but also insights from the application of simulation methods based on quantum chemical approaches (DFT) and force-field-based calculations (molecular dynamics). Electrolyte properties are characterised taking interfaces to electrodes and the development of strategies for material processing into account. The research team accompanies the approach by continuous adaptation and further development of necessary experimental methods.
A current focus of electrolyte research at HI MS comprises the development of promising polymer electrolytes for possible application in solid state batteries. The department evaluates different material classes regarding different application relevant aspects.
The achievable ionic conductivity of the materials depends on the type of mobile charge carriers and their interactions with the polymer backbone or functional groups of the polymer side chains. These, for example, might be determined with partners from industry and academia by molecular dynamics simulations providing further aspects for optimizing the electrolytes.
Further approaches to materials development can be obtained by strategies for processing the polymers into membranes for cell construction or from the analysis of charge transfer processes at electrode interfaces.
Optimization of Interfaces and Coating
Another research includes the adaptation and processing of functional coatings for electrodes, the development of additive supported liquid electrolyte formulations as well as efforts towards the optimization of interfaces between electrodes and electrolytes. The latter is particularly important for the electrochemical performance and lifetime of batteries.
All topics are dealt with by an interdisciplinary team with a broad range of expertise and therefore include a number of modern characterization methods and synthesis techniques. In addition, the successful work of the Department of Electrolytes at HI MS is driven forward by intensive cooperative exchange with internal and external partners.
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