Matching Items (4)

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Electrospinning of ceramic solid electrolyte nanowires for lithium-ion batteries with enhanced ionic conductivity

Description

Solid electrolytes have great potential to address the safety issues of Li-ion batteries, but better synthesis methods are still required for ceramics electrolytes such as lithium lanthanum titanate (LLTO) and

Solid electrolytes have great potential to address the safety issues of Li-ion batteries, but better synthesis methods are still required for ceramics electrolytes such as lithium lanthanum titanate (LLTO) and lithium lanthanum zirconate (LLZO). Pellets made from ceramic nanopowders using conventional sintering can be porous due to the agglomeration of nanoparticles (NPs). Electrospinning is a simple and versatile technique for preparing oxide ceramic nanowires (NWs) and was used to prepare electrospun LLTO and LLZO NWs. Pellets prepared from the electrospun LLTO NWs had higher density, less void space, and higher Li+ conductivity compared to those comprised of LLTO prepared with conventional sol-gel methods, which demonstrated the potential that electrospinning can provide towards improving the properties of sol-gel derived ceramics. Cubic phase LLZO was stabilized at room temperature in the form of electrospun NWs without extrinsic dopants. Bulk LLZO with tetragonal structure was transformed to the cubic phase using particle size reduction via ball milling. Heating conditions that promoted particle coalescence and grain growth induced a transformation from the cubic to tetragonal phase in both types of nanostructured LLZO. Composite polymer solid electrolyte was fabricated using LLZO NWs as the filler and showed an improved ionic conductivity at room temperature. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies show that LLZO NWs partially modify the polymer matrix and create preferential pathways for Li+ conduction through the modified polymer regions. Doping did not have significant effect on improving the overall conductivity as the interfaces played a predominant role. By comparing fillers with different morphologies and intrinsic conductivities, it was found that both NW morphology and high intrinsic conductivity are desired.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Synthesis of one-dimensional and hyperbranched nanomaterials for lithium-ion battery solid electrolytes

Description

Lithium-ion batteries can fail and catch fire when overcharged, exposed to high temperatures or short-circuited due to the highly flammable organic liquid used in the electrolyte. Using inorganic solid electrolyte

Lithium-ion batteries can fail and catch fire when overcharged, exposed to high temperatures or short-circuited due to the highly flammable organic liquid used in the electrolyte. Using inorganic solid electrolyte materials can potentially improve the safety factor. Additionally, nanostructured electrolyte materials may further enhanced performance by taking advantage of their large aspect ratio. In this work, the synthesis of two promising nanostructured solid electrolyte materials was explored. Amorphous lithium niobate nanowires were synthesized through the decomposition of a niobium-containing complex in a structure-directing solvent using a reflux method. Lithium lanthanum titanate was obtained via solid state reaction with titanium oxide nanowires as the titanium precursor, but the nanowire morphology could not be preserved due to high temperature sintering. Hyperbranched potassium lanthanum titanate was synthesized through hydrothermal route. This was the first time that hyperbranched nanowires with perovskite structure were made without any catalyst or substrate. This result has the potential to be applied to other perovskite materials.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Novel anhydrous superprotonic ionic liquids and membranes for application in mid-temperature fuel cells

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This thesis studies three different types of anhydrous proton conducting electrolytes for use in fuel cells. The proton energy level scheme is used to make the first electrolyte which is

This thesis studies three different types of anhydrous proton conducting electrolytes for use in fuel cells. The proton energy level scheme is used to make the first electrolyte which is a rubbery polymer in which the conductivity reaches values typical of activated Nafion, even though it is completely anhydrous. The protons are introduced into a cross-linked polyphospazene rubber by the superacid HOTf, which is absorbed by partial protonation of the backbone nitrogens. The decoupling of conductivity from segmental relaxation times assessed by comparison with conductivity relaxation times amounts to some 10 orders of magnitude, but it cannot be concluded whether it is purely protonic or due equally to a mobile OTf- or H(OTf)2-; component. The second electrolyte is built on the success of phosphoric acid as a fuel cell electrolyte, by designing a variant of the molecular acid that has increased temperature range without sacrifice of high temperature conductivity or open circuit voltage. The success is achieved by introduction of a hybrid component, based on silicon coordination of phosphate groups, which prevents decomposition or water loss to 250ºC, while enhancing free proton motion. Conductivity studies are reported to 285ºC and full H2/O2 cell polarization curves to 226ºC. The current efficiency reported here (current density per unit of fuel supplied per sec) is the highest on record. A power density of 184 (mW.cm-2) is achieved at 226ºC with hydrogen flow rate of 4.1 ml/minute. The third electrolyte is a novel type of ionic liquids which is made by addition of a super strong Brønsted acid to a super weak Brønsted base. Here it is shown that by allowing the proton of transient HAlCl4, to relocate on a very weak base that is also stable to superacids, we can create an anhydrous ionic liquid, itself a superacid, in which the proton is so loosely bound that at least 50% of the electrical conductivity is due to the motion of free protons. The protic ionic liquids (PILs) described, pentafluoropyridinium tetrachloroaluminate and 5-chloro-2,4,6-trifluoropyrimidinium tetrachloroaluminate, might be the forerunner of a class of materials in which the proton plasma state can be approached.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Optimization of ionic conductivity in doped ceria using density functional theory and kinetic lattice Monte Carlo

Description

Fuel cells, particularly solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), are important for the future of greener and more efficient energy sources. Although SOFCs have been in existence for over fifty years,

Fuel cells, particularly solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), are important for the future of greener and more efficient energy sources. Although SOFCs have been in existence for over fifty years, they have not been deployed extensively because they need to be operated at a high temperature (∼1000 °C), are expensive, and have slow response to changes in energy demands. One important need for commercialization of SOFCs is a lowering of their operating temperature, which requires an electrolyte that can operate at lower temperatures. Doped ceria is one such candidate. For this dissertation work I have studied different types of doped ceria to understand the mechanism of oxygen vacancy diffusion through the bulk. Doped ceria is important because they have high ionic conductivities thus making them attractive candidates for the electrolytes of solid oxide fuel cells. In particular, I have studied how the ionic conductivities are improved in these doped materials by studying the oxygen-vacancy formations and migrations. In this dissertation I describe the application of density functional theory (DFT) and Kinetic Lattice Monte Carlo (KLMC) simulations to calculate the vacancy diffusion and ionic conductivities in doped ceria. The dopants used are praseodymium (Pr), gadolinium (Gd), and neodymium (Nd), all belonging to the lanthanide series. The activation energies for vacancy migration between different nearest neighbor (relative to the dopant) positions were calculated using the commercial DFT code VASP (Vienna Ab-initio Simulation Package). These activation energies were then used as inputs to the KLMC code that I co-developed. The KLMC code was run for different temperatures (673 K to 1073 K) and for different dopant concentrations (0 to 40%). These simulations have resulted in the prediction of dopant concentrations for maximum ionic conductivity at a given temperature.

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Date Created
  • 2011