The scientific work on this programme was started in October 2010. 35 individual projects in Germany and Austria are funded by the German Research Foundation. Most of them are organized in the frame of joint projects with three or more collaborating partners.
In the course of this programme the relationships between thermodynamics, kinetics, crystal chemistry and micro-/nanostructures of materials for lithium ion batteries are scientifically investigated. This research aims at a better understanding of active masses, electrolytes, current collectors and separators in view of the entire cell system. Thermodynamic and kinetic models are combined in this priority programme with experiments and analyses according to the best practices in materials science.
The main focus of this programme is on:
(1) materials and cell thermodynamics and kinetics
(2) heterogeneous equilibria and reactions
(3) innovative methods of preparation and synthesis of active materials
(4) electrochemical investigations combined with thermodynamics and constitution of cell materials
Thermodynamic and kinetic modelling and experiments are combined with advanced methods for the preparation / synthesis and characterization of active materials. The materials constitution, the thermodynamic stabilities of the functional crystal structures and the phase transformations (in dependence of lithiation / delithiation, grain size, temperature) are investigated in an integrated approach in this programme.
The scientific objectives of this programme are:
- Materials thermodynamics and kinetics studies aiming at the provision of advanced active materials for lithium ion batteries of the next generation with comprehensively improved performance spectrum,
- Thermodynamic and kinetic modelling of the heterogeneous reactions, phase transformations and nano-/microstructure developments of the active materials which are required for high performance operation and control of degradation,
- Correlation of thermodynamic, kinetic and electrochemical properties and structural properties of the materials of the cell components,
- Improvement of the energetics and the thermodynamic safety of the entire system by specific design on the level of chemistry and materials constitution (heterogeneous phase assembly).
The methods of Computational Thermodynamics (Ab initio, Calphad, Phase field, etc.) are used. In addition to standard polycrystalline materials, nanostructured and amorphous cathode and anode materials are prepared and their thermodynamic and electrochemical characteristics are measured. Additionally, of major interest are scientific results which can be derived from methods of thermal analysis, calorimetry (accelerating rate calorimetry; differential scanning calorimetry; solution and mixing calorimetry), Knudsen effusion mass spectrometry, high resolution electron microscopy and (in-situ, high temperature) X-ray diffractometry. The findings are correlated with results from electrochemical characterization.