Advanced Characterization of Battery Materials
The development and utilization of innovative characterization techniques, either in post mortem or operando mode, enable to probe the different reaction mechanisms taking place in a cell on the micro and macro-scopic length scales at the bulk level, i.e., lithium insertion and extraction, at the surface level, i.e., SEI formation, as well as at the electrolyte level. Knowing such reaction mechanisms is essential to understand the battery performance.
Electrochemical Energy Storage
Our vision is the development of the best electrochemical energy storage system. We work on rechargeable batteries, mainly lithium based. The scientific goal is a profound understanding of electrochemical processes in complex, mainly nonaqueous systems. In particular, of utmost scientific interest are the numerous interactions of all components of electrochemical energy storage systems (batteries, supercapacitors, and hybrids) determining the safety and life time of such systems.
Battery Materials and Diagnostics
Our goal is to develop novel materials and to improve existing materials for Li-ion, Li-S, and exotic (Na, Mg, Ca, etc...) batteries. We apply different synthetic routes, such as sol-gel chemistry, mechanosynthesis, solid state synthesis under various controlled atmospheres, and microwave synthesis to control the morphology and obtained the most promising electrochemical performances of a dedicated systems.
Investigation of the electrochemical performance and the surface layer formation of cycled thin films of amorphous Si in carbonate and ionic liquid based electrolytes
The electron microscopy facility (EMF) at PSI is presently sustained by three divisions: the divisions for Biology and Chemistry (BIO; chair of EMF), for Nuclear Energy and Safety Research (NES) and for Energy and Environment (ENE).
Gas Diffusion Layers with Patterned Wettability
During PEFC’s operation the reactant gas is fed to the cell through the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and through the same material the product water is removed. Water accumulation near the catalyst can block the gas access causing an increase of the mass transport losses. On the other hand, PEFC’s work with a solid electrolyte membrane that needs to be hydrated in order to be proton conductive. In order to obtain the maximum performance PEFC’s require a well-balanced water management.