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Title: Microwave-assisted synthesis and local analyses of positive insertion electrodes for Li+ batteries
Author: Ashton, Thomas E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 4348
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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Efficient energy storage holds the key to reducing waste energy and enabling the use of advanced handheld electronic devices, hydrid electric vehicles and residential energy storage. Recently, Li-ion batteries have been identified and employed as energy storage devices due to their high gravimetric and volumetric energy densities, in comparison to previous technologies. However, more research is required to enhance the efficiency of Li-ion batteries by discovering electrodes with larger electrochemical discharge capacities, while maintaining electrochemical stability. The aims of this study are to develop new microwave-assisted synthesis routes to nanostructured insertion cathodes, which harbor a greater affinity for lithium extraction and insertion than bulk materials. Subsequent to this, state-of-the-art synchrotron based techniques have been employed to understand structural and dynamic behaviour of nanostructured cathode materials during battery cell operation. In this study, microwave-assisted routes to a-LiFePO4, VO2(B), V3O7, H2V3O8 and V4O6(OH)4 have all been developed. Muon spin relaxation has shown that the presence of b-LiFePO4 has a detrimental effect on the lithium diffusion properties of a-LiFePO4, in agreement with first principles calculations. For the first time, a-LiFePO4 nanostructures have been obtained by employing a deep eutectic solvent reaction media showing near theoretical capacity (162 mAh g–1). Studies on VO2(B) have shown that the discharge capacity obtained is linked to the synthesis method. Electrochemical studies of H2V3O8 nanowires have shown outstanding discharge capacities (323 mAh g–1 at 100 mA g–1) and rate capability (180 mAh g–1 at 1 A g–1). The electrochemcial properties of V4O6(OH)4 have been investigated for the first time and show a promising discharge capacity of (180 mAh g–1). Lastly, in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy has been utilised to track the evolution of the oxidation states in a-LiFePO4, VO2(B) and H2V3O8, and has shown these can all be observed dynamically.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q Science (General) ; QD Chemistry