Experimental discovery of new multiple-anion solid-state electrolytes

Description

In the quest for safer and higher capacity batteries, the development of an all-solid-state battery is a top priority and is currently limited by the lack of a high-performance material to serve as a solid state electrolyte. The interplay of many considerations including structure, bonding, and defect chemistry makes for a challenging opportunity to develop a material that is both stable within the battery environment and is able to rapidly conduct ions in the solid state. To discover new higher-performance materials, there is an ever increasing need to explore more complicated phase space containing >5 elements, making exploration difficult by synthesis efforts alone. To this end, an integrated computational and experimental workflow has been developed to efficiently identify new target materials for experimental investigation drawing from new artificial intelligence tools and databases.

Specifically, the project will utilise this established computation-experiment workflow to target novel structural families of multiple-anion solid electrolytes with high conductivity and electrochemical stability. The project will combine synthetic solid state chemistry, advanced structural analysis (crystallography, NMR) and measurement of physical properties (impedance spectroscopy, electrochemical stability) to assess material performance. The student will work within a multidisciplinary team of computational, inorganic, and materials chemists to identify, isolate and process these new materials, and thus become familiar with the application of computational and machine learning methods in materials discovery. The project will be based in the Materials Innovation Factory (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/materials-innovation-factory/) at the University of Liverpool. The project forms part of the SOLBAT project of the Faraday Institution (https://www.solbat-faraday.org), integrating materials discovery with work on cell interfaces and manufacturing.

Qualifications: Applications are welcomed from students with a 2:1 or higher master’s degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, or Materials Science, particularly those with some of the skills directly relevant to the project outlined above.

Funding for the studentship will be provided through the Faraday Institution (https://faraday.ac.uk) and the student will make use of the world-class synthetic and characterisation facilities available in the newly-opened Materials Innovation Factory (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/materials-innovation-factory/) at the University of Liverpool. 

In order to apply for a Faraday Institution PhD position, you need to do both of the following:

1. Complete a Faraday Institution expression of interest form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2K76M6V

2. Follow the university application process as per advert:

Please apply by completing the online postgraduate research application form here: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/applying/online/ 

Please ensure you quote the following reference on your application: Experimental discovery of new multiple-anion solid-state electrolytes (Reference CCPR021).

Diversity: The University of Liverpool is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.

 For any enquiries please contact: Dr Luke Daniels on 

Availability

Open to UK applicants

Funding information

Funded studentship

The Faraday Institution Cluster PhD researchers receive an enhanced stipend over and above the standard EPSRC offer. The project, including tuition fees, is fully funded for 4 years. The total annual stipend is approximately £20,000 (plus London weighting) plus an additional training package worth £7,000. Recipients will have access to multiple networking opportunities, industry visits, mentorship, internships, as well as quality experiences that will further develop knowledge, skills, and aspirations View Website.

Supervisors

References

Li6SiO4Cl2: A Hexagonal Argyrodite Based on Antiperovskite Layer Stacking. Chem. Mater. 33, 2206-2217 (2021); https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c00157
The Earth Mover’s Distance as a Metric for the Space of Inorganic Compounds. Chem. Mater. 32, 10610-10620 (2020); https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c03381
Computationally Guided Discovery of the Sulphide Li3AlS3 in the iI-Al-S Phase Field: Structure and Lithium Conductivity. Chem. Mater. 31, 9699-9714 (2019); https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b03230