Understanding initial growth of interfacial coatings using atomic layer deposition on highly reactive lithium ion battery electrodes

01 October 2023 → 30 September 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Surface engineering
Lithium ion battery electrode Atomic Layer Deposition Initial coating growth
Project description

Lithium ion batteries (LIB) are essential to various technologies, but their performance remains insufficient to guarantee a sustainable future. Electrode coatings have emerged as an innovative solution to achieve next-gen battery performances by radically enhancing the battery lifetime, energy density and (dis)charge rates. To deposit such artificial interfaces on the electrode surface, atomic layer deposition (ALD) is an exceptional method having sub-nm thickness control and compositional flexibility. During past years, I have pioneered metal phosphate ALD for electrode coatings. However, major leaps forward are required to generate radically improved batteries. Particularly, next-gen coating materials need to be explored, which is impeded by a lack of fundamental understanding of the ALD deposition process on an LIB electrode. Especially during initial growth, the process chemistry at the interface is much more complex than initially expected, requiring in-depth investigations. Using the unique match between my experience and the exceptional infrastructure of the CoCooN group, my aim is to (1) explore a new class of highly lithium-conductive metal phosphate coating materials and (2) fill the knowledge gap on ALD growth mechanism on highly reactive LIB electrodes using a.o. novel in-situ synchrotron techniques and soft X-ray emission spectroscopy. This will generate a foundational understanding of artificial electrode interfaces, enabling next-gen ALD electrode coatings.