Battery Materials

Photo: nanomaterials

Research on batteries at the department of materials science and engineering covers nearly all parts of the battery, including cathode, anode, electrolytes, binders and conductive additives. We also do work on modelling of electrode materials and electrolyte/electrode interfaces in order to better understand the electrochemical behavior of our systems. However, the main focus has been on developing new materials for cathodes and anodes in Li-ion batteries as well as cathode materials for secondary Mg-batteries.

We do everything from synthesis and characterization of active materials to electrochemical characterization of half cells and full cells. Synthesis is focused on wet chemical methods for cost efficient, scalable and environmentally friendly production of electrode materials, which can be tailored with regards to composition and morphology. We use both standard materials characterization methods such as SEM and XRD as well as more advanced characterization by TEM, XPS and EELS. Materials are also characterized with regards to electrochemical properties using galvanostatic and potentiostatic methods, cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy.

The battery research in FACET is strongly coordinated with battery work in the electrochemistry group, lead by Prof. Ann Mari Svensson.

Electrode materials for secondary batteries
Properties of secondary (rechargeable) batteries, whether it’s Li-ion, Mg-ion or Li-air technology, is highly dependent on the composition and morphology of the electrode materials. The three mentioned technologies are at very different stages of technological maturity. For Li-ion batteries the main focus is on fine-tuning morphologies and compositions by nanostructuring and addition of protective and/or functional coatings. We work on different types of oxides on the cathode side, such as LiMn2-xNixO4 and LiMnxNiyCzO2 as well as phosphates and silicates (LiMPO4 and Li2MSiO4). On the anode side we work on both Si and SiO2 as potential replacements for graphite. 

Photo: NanomaterialsPhoto: Graph
For Li-air and Mg-batteries which are not mature technologies, the focus is more in finding solutions that will actually provide a working battery. Particularly for Mg-batteries this is a challenge due to slow diffusion of Mg-ions within host materials. We therefore focus on exploring completely new electrode materials such as MXenes. For Mg-batteries we also have significant activity on modelling of materials and interfaces. For Li-air batteries the challenge seems to lie more with the electrolyte, and we therefore have not focused that much on electrode development. 

Photo: NanomaterialsPhoto: Nanomaterials


Electrolytes and electrode/electrolyte interfaces
The electrolyte is an extremely important part of any battery, and is also one major reason for the high complexity of battery chemistry. Electrolyte additives has turned out to be a very important factor that can determine rate capability, stability and life time of a battery as well as influencing the ability of ions to intercalate/de-intercalate into/out of the host structure. The electrolyte will also to a large extent determine how well a battery works in freezing conditions as well as at elevated temperature. In Li-ion batteries in particular, the electrolyte plays a vital role in the safety, as it is flammable and may cause a battery to catch on fire. On the cathode side is has been found that the electrolyte will dissolve certain elements from the oxide, which leads to structural breakdown and pollution of the electrolyte and anode. Due to all these issues caused by the electrolyte we therefore have spent considerable time studying battery performance at both low and elevated temperatures and we have investigated a variety of electrolyte compositions, including different additives. In current projects we have focus on the electrode/electrolyte interface and investigate various additives and compositions in order to modify the interface. 

Photo: GraphPhoto: Graph


Binders and conductive additives
Photo: GraphThe binder and conductive additive are not active parts of the battery, but still play important roles and may affect battery performance in terms of rate capability, stability and lifetime. In recent years binders have received much more attention due to the emerging interest in Si anodes, which is not compatible with conventional binders. However, it has recently been discovered that the conductive additives also may play a more important role than previously thought, particularly for high voltage cathodes. In our current projects we work both on developing new binders as well as implementing commercially available binder materials on both the cathode and anode side. 

Besides making use of our general pool of processing tools and structural as well as microstructural characterization equipment, we have glove boxes dedicated for assembly of batteries and electrolyte synthesis. In addition, we have a newly opened (fall 2017) battery lab where all electrode processing and battery characterization takes place. It should also be mentioned that we have a specially designed cell for in situ XRD characterization, and we can do in situ XRD work using pouch cells in combination with a Mo source XRD. The latest equipment that we have available is an in situ transfer cell for combined FIB-SEM. Here, batteries can be disassembled in a glove box and transferred in inert environment to a FIB-SEM.

 

Photo: people in the labPhoto: lab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L. Wang, B. Jiang, P. E. Vullum, A. M. Svensson, A. Erbe, S. M. Selbach, H. Xu, and F. Vullum-Bruer
High Interfacial Charge Storage Capability of Carbonaceous Cathodes for Mg Batteries
ACS Nano 12 (2018) 2998–3009.

L. Wang, Z. Wang, P. E. Vullum, S. M. Selbach, A. M. Svensson and F. Vullum-Bruer
Solvent-Controlled Charge Storage Mechanisms of Spinel Oxide Electrodes in Mg Organohaloaluminate Electrolytes
Nano Lett. 18 (2018) 763-772.

K. Inzani, M. Nematollahi, F. Vullum-Bruer, T. Grande, T. W. Reenaas and S. M. Selbach
Electronic Properties of Reduced Molybdenum Oxides
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 19 (2017) 9232-9245.

K. Inzani, M. Nematollahi, S. M. Selbach, T. Grande and F. Vullum-Bruer
Progression of reduction of MoO3 observed in powders and solution processed thin films
Thin Solid Films 626 (2017) 94-103.

L. Wang, K. Asheim, P. E. Vullum, A. M. Svensson and F. Vullum-Bruer
Sponge-like Porous Manganese(II,III) Oxide as a Highly Effi-cient Cathode Material for Rechargeable Magnesium Ion Batteries
Chem. Mater. 28 (2016) 6459-6470.

N. P Wagner, P. E. Vullum, M. K. Nord, A. M. Svensson and F. Vullum-Bruer
On Vanadium Substitution in Li2MnSiO4/C as Positive Electrode for Li-ion Batteries 
J. Phys. Chem. C 120 (2016) 11359-11371.

X. Chen, F. L. Bleken, O. M. Løvvik and F. Vullum-Bruer
Comparing electrochemical performance of transition metal silicate cathodes and chevrel phase Mo6S8 in the analogous rechargeable Mg-ion battery system
J. Power Sources 321 (2016) 76-86.

C. E. L. Foss, A. M. Svensson, S. Sunde and F. Vullum-Bruer
Edge/basal/defect ratios in graphite and their influence on the thermal stability of lithium ion batteries
J. Power Sources 317 (2016) 177-183.

N. Wagner, A. M. Svensson and F. Vullum-Bruer
Liquid-feed flame spray pyrolysis as alternative synthesis for electrochemically active nano-sized LiMn2SiO4 
Transl. Mater. Res. 3 (2016) 025001.

K. Inzani, T. Grande, F. Vullum-Bruer and S. M. Selbach
A van der Waals Density Functional Study of MoO3 and Its Oxygen Vacancies
J. Phys. Chem. C 120 (2016) 8959-8968.

N. Wagner, A. M. Svensson and F. Vullum-Bruer
Flame-Made Lithium Transition Metal Orthosilicates 
Electrochimica Acta 203 (2016) 246-256.

N. P. Wagner, A. R. M. Dalod, A. M. Svensson and F. Vullum-Bruer
Fe and V Substituted Li2MnSiO4/C As Potential Cathode Material for Li-Ion Batteries
ECS Trans. 64 (2015) 33-45.

N. Wagner, A. M. Svensson, F. Vullum-Bruer
Effect of carbon content and annealing atmosphere on phase purity and morphology of Li2MnSiO4 synthesized by a PVA assisted sol–gel method
Solid State Ionics 276 (2015) 26-32.

O. S. Burheim, M. A. Onsrud, J. G. Pharoah, F. Vullum-Bruer, P. J. S. Vie
Thermal Conductivity, Heat Sources and Temperature Profiles of Li-Ion Batteries
ECS Trans. 58 (2014) 145-171.

F. Lou, H. Zhou, T. D. Tran, M. E. Melandsø Buan, F. Vullum-Bruer, M. Rønning, J. C. Walmsley and D. Chen
Coaxial Carbon/Metal Oxide/Aligned Carbon Nanotube Arrays as High-Performance Anodes for Lithium Ion Batteries
ChemSusChem. 7 (2014) 1335–1346.

H. Zhou, F. Lou, P. E. Vullum, M.-A. Einarsrud, De Chen and F. Vullum-Bruer
3D aligned-carbon-nanotubes@Li2FeSiO4 arrays as high rate capability cathodes for Li-ion batteries
Nanotechnology 24 (2013) 435703.

HQ. Lu, H. Zhou, A. M. Svensson, A. Fossdal, E. Sheridan, SQ. Lu, F. Vullum-Bruer
High capacity Li[Ni0.8Co0.1Mn0.1]O2 synthesized by sol–gel and co-precipitation methods as cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries
Solid State Ionics 249-250 (2013) 105-11.

F. Lou, H. Zhou, F. Vullum-Bruer, T. D. Tran and De Chen
Synthesis of carbon nanofibers@MnO2 3D structures over copper foil as binder free anodes for lithium ion batteries
J. Energy Chem. 22 (2013) 78–86.

H. Zhou, M.-A. Einarsrud and F. Vullum-Bruer
In situ XRD and EIS of a nanoporous Li2FeSiO4/C cathode during the initial charge/discharge cycle of a Li-ion battery
J. Power Sources 238 (2013) 478–484.

F. Lou, H. Zhou, F. Huang, F. Vullum-Bruer, T. D. Tran and De Chen
Facile synthesis of manganese oxide/aligned carbon nanotubes over aluminium foil as 3D binder free cathodes for lithium ion batteries
J. Mater. Chem. A 1 (2013) 3757-3767.

H. Zhou, M.-A. Einarsrud and F. Vullum-Bruer
High capacity nanostructured Li2FexSiO4/C with Fe hyperstoichiometry for Li-ion batteries
J. Power Sources 235 (2013) 234.

C. E. L. Foss, A. M. Svensson, S. Sunde and F. Vullum-Bruer
Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy of a Porous Graphite Electrode Used for Li-Ion Batteries with EC/PC Based Electrolytes
ECS Trans. 41 (2012) 1-6.

H. Zhou, M.-A. Einarsrud and F. Vullum-Bruer
PVA-assisted combustion synthesis and characterization of porous nanocomposite Li2FeSiO4/C
Solid State Ionics 225 (2012) 585-589.

 

Contact

Fride Vullum-Bruer. Photo

Assoc. Prof Fride Vullum-Bruer
fride.vullum-bruer@ntnu.no
+47 73 59 39 76

 


Scientific Highlights

Photo: Logo

In May 2016 Fride Vullum-Bruer was part of the team that was awarded one of the new FME centers, MoZEES.

Fride Vullum-Bruer received the NANO2021 project BioBatt (2017).

Fride Vullum-Bruer together with NTNU TTO received funding through FORNY for the project Diatoma (2017).

Fride Vullum-Bruer received funding from FRIPRO for the project 2D-Mg (2017).

Group photo


Selected publications

L. Wang et. al., Solvent-Controlled Charge Storage Mechanisms of Spinel Oxide Electrodes in Mg Organohaloaluminate Electrolytes, Nano Lett. 18 (2018) 763-772.

L. Wang et. al., Sponge-like Porous Manganese(II,III) Oxide as a Highly Efficient Cathode Material for Rechargeable Magnesium Ion Batteries, Chem. Mater. 28 (2016) 6459-6470.

N. P Wagner et.al., On Vanadium Substitution in Li2MnSiO4/C as Positive Electrode for Li-ion Batteries, J. Phys. Chem. C 120 (2016) 11359-11371.