MASSARO, ARIANNA (2021) Design and development of solid-state functional materials for Na-ion batteries. [Tesi di dottorato]


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Item Type: Tesi di dottorato
Resource language: English
Title: Design and development of solid-state functional materials for Na-ion batteries
Date: 12 July 2021
Number of Pages: 210
Institution: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Department: Scienze Chimiche
Dottorato: Scienze chimiche
Ciclo di dottorato: 33
Coordinatore del Corso di dottorato:
Date: 12 July 2021
Number of Pages: 210
Keywords: Ab initio modelling; molecular dynamic simulations; solid-state electrodes; ionic liquids based electrolytes; sodium batteries; energy storage
Settori scientifico-disciplinari del MIUR: Area 03 - Scienze chimiche > CHIM/02 - Chimica fisica
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 16:08
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2023 11:09

Collection description

This Thesis addresses new functional materials for Na-ion battery (NIB) applications. Since the breakthrough of Li-ion battery (LIB), extensive research has been focusing on alternatives to Lithium, based on cheaper and widespread elements for sustainable energy storage solutions. In this context, the effective large-scale deployment of NIB requires great efforts in the development of good Na+ host anodes, high-energy cathodes and safe electrolytes. New components must ensure enhanced efficiency in the NIB operating processes (i.e., Na+ insertion/extraction at the electrode/electrolyte interface and Na+ transport through the electrolyte) for empowering high energy density and long-term cycle stability. Here, we present NIB materials optimization through an innovative approach, based on computational methods that are directly related to experiments. Our aim is to unveil the most important features that can affect the material capabilities towards Na+ uptake, transport and storage. During the research activity at Università di Napoli Federico II, state-of-the-art DFT methods have been employed to investigate the structure-property relationship of solid-state nanoelectrodes. Our studies on TiO2 anatase and MoS2/graphene 2D-heterostructure reveals that sodiation mechanisms are driven by intrinsic structural features. Migration barriers are directly correlated to structure-dependent descriptors, such as the accessible area for the intercalating Na+ at TiO2 surfaces, and the S coordination around the migrating Na+ within MoS2/graphene interface. From these outcomes, we provide new design strategies to improve the electrode efficiency upon sodiation, for example suggesting the preferential growth of TiO2 along the (001) direction or the introduction of S vacancies in MoS2 monolayers. On the cathode side, we unveil the charge compensation mechanism occurring in NaxNi0.25Mn0.68O2 upon desodiation, with a major focus on the O-redox chemistry at very low Na loads. Molecular O2 is predicted to be released from Mn-deficient sites in the bulk cathode via formation of superoxo-species and preferential breaking of labile Ni-O bonds. We prove that increasing M-O covalency via suitable doping would prevent O2 loss and allows to fully recover a reversible process. Research stages at ENS de Lyon and the R&D laboratory of Lithops s.r.l. have been dedicated to the optimization of electrolyte materials. By development and application of polarizable force fields in molecular dynamics simulations, we report reliable predictions of Na+ diffusion and solvation properties into the PyrFSI room-temperature ionic liquid (RT-IL). We combine RT-ILs with cross-linked PEO matrix to obtain highly conductive polymeric membranes. Galvanostatic cycling of Na metal based cells containing these innovative polymer electrolytes and state-of-the-art electrodes shows promising performances and paves the route to further assessment of efficient cells. The foreseen integration of these studies will provide new understanding on the complex charge transfer processes occurring at the electrode/electrolyte interface during battery functioning. The new knowledge on electrochemical behavior of advanced materials will be key for boosting the NIB technology in the near future.


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