Ion beam analysis for novel Li and Na battery materials

Supervisor: Dr. Lyudmila Goncharova/Andy Sun

Project: Ion beam analysis for novel Li and Na battery materials

Can extend to MSc?:  No

Project Description (Abstract):

In collaboration with Prof. Andy Sun,, Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Novel battery technologies, such as Li ion batteries, is one of the most significant areas of technological challenge our society currently faces. Surface and interface processes, - adsorption, absorption and interdiffusion, - are key to improving our understanding of phenomena that are critical in operation of novel ion batteries materials. Ion beam analyses methods, including Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA), offer a non-destructive way to deduce elemental depth profiles for the battery materials and connect them with the battery structure performances. In this project, ERDA will be optimized on several  Li containing targets to separate well Li and H peaks. The resulting Li spectra will then be analyzed and compared to the expected results based on target stoichiometry using Simulations of Nuclear Analysis (SIMNRA) code. ERDA and RBS may allow for quantifiable calculation of lithium concentration and the creation of a depth profile. Our ERDA measurements of the hydrogen intakes, and /or Li distribution in these materials will lead to designing and developing highly effective electrodes in collaboration with Dr. Andy Sun's group [1].


The student’s role: Li foils with different overlayer coatings will be prepared by a student in collaboration with Dr. Andy Sun's group. Calibration standards for ion beam analysis will be prepared by the student, either from solid state powders or by ion implantation method.  ERDA measurements will be optimized to achieve the best energy resolution between hydrogen and lithium peaks. Student will learn SIMNRA computational code to fit experimental spectra. Finally, Li ion battery structures will be tested by the student by ERDA profiling complemented by X-ray photoemission and scanning electron microscopy measurements to develop a better understanding of Li diffusion during battery operation process.

1. Y. Zhao, L.V. Goncharova, A. Lushington, Q. Sun, H. Yadegari, B. Wamg, W. Xiao, R.Li, X. Sun, Adv. Materials, 2017, 1606663, 10.1002/adma.201606663

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