Interfaces and Interphases
Electrolytes are key components of any electrochemical device. They are married to 3-D interphases which originate from the high reactivity of the electrode and the intrinsic instability of electrolyte components. In most cases, electrolyte formulations and their ad hoc interfacial chemistries dictate the fate of each battery chemistry and govern its performance and safety.
The R&D interest scope ranges from the dissolving power for electrolyte salts on the conductivity, electrochemical and thermal stability, wettability, flammability and vapour pressure, to the essential film-forming abilities.
The Helmholtz Institute Münster focuses on the development of novel and advancement of existing (multi-)functional electrolytes for lithium-based battery applications – from the customized synthesis of novel electrolyte components to interface electrochemistry and processes (figure 1).
Research at a Glance:
- Tailored syntheses of innovative and ultrapure electrolyte components: conducting salts, organic solvents and co-solvents as well as (multi-)functional additives
- Development of structure-property-performance relationships for understanding and elucidation of main operation and failure mechanisms
- Comprehensive and systematic characterization on electrolyte and battery cell level
- Profound fundamental understanding of relevant structural and compositional characteristics, (electro-)chemical reactions as well as thermodynamic and kinetic behaviour
- Practical strategies to enhance interphase properties toward advanced overall performance and safety of lithium-based battery cell chemistries
High-Throughput Screening System
The in Münster well-established High Throughput Screening (HTS) System enables fast, systematic, and all-automatic formulation of liquid electrolytes, cell assembly in two and three electrode setup, as well as preselected physicochemical and electrochemical measurements on an electrolyte and cell level. Additionally, HTS serves as a filtration unit towards an accelerated identification of affordable, electrochemically and thermally outperforming lead electrolyte candidates for a targeted application in a given cell chemistry.
The entire value chain is governed by the laboratory information management system (LIMS). Combined with artificial intelligence (AI) based analysis of generated HTS-data it may serve for prediction of vital electrolyte properties and suggest new combinations of advanced electrolyte formulations with enhanced safety (figure 2).
Advanced Energy Materials 2021, Early View, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.202102678
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