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DRF: Thesis subject SL-DRF-19-0850

Soft matter and complex fluids / Physique de l'état condensé, chimie et nanosciences
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“Smart” Composite Membranes for Lithium-Metal-Polymer Batteries.


At the present stage, in the electrochemical device landscape, solid-state polymer lithium batteries offer an interesting compromise in terms of specific stored energy and power. Nevertheless, to achieve practical conduction they need to operate at relatively high temperature (80°C). This condition significantly hampers the performances of the system. The top-one priority of manufacturers in the field is to decrease the working temperature of their products. This project proposes a fundamental science approach targeting the delivery of a “proof of concept” polymer based lithium metal battery working at room temperature.

This ambitious goal will be achieved by taking advantage of i) the confinement of the electrolyte within composite Carbon NanoTube (CNT) membranes (Gibbs-Thomson effect), ii) one-dimensional (1D) ionic conductivity, and iii) the use of low molecular mass PEO (high mobility). The reduction of dimensionality will be obtained by using the quasi-perfect 1D topology offered by vertically aligned CNT forests.

The suppression of the electrical conductivity of the CNT is a critical aspect to use 1D CNT membranes as battery separators. Short PEO chains will be therefore grafted onto the CNT caps to achieve at once good ionic conduction at the CNT pore entrance and ensure electrical insulation of the CNT/electrode contact. Depending on the physico-chemical conditions on one side of the membrane (pH, temperature…), one can expect drastic changes in the conformation of the CNT-tips-grafted-polymer layer: from extended to mushroom conformation. Therefore, beyond the present project, such smart membranes could be turned into “nano-valves”, able to gate the flow between different media.

Institut rayonnement et matière de Saclay
Laboratoire Léon Brillouin
Groupe Biologie et Systèmes Désordonnés
Place: Saclay
Start date of the thesis: 01/10/2019

Quentin BERROD  

SyMMES - UMR 5819
CEA Grenoble - INAC
04 38 78 64 25
Bat. C5 p.551
17 avenue des Martyrs
38000 Grenoble, France

Phone number: 00438786425

Grenoble INP
Ecole Doctorale de Physique de Grenoble


Laboratoire Léon Brillouin
Institut Laue Langevin
71 Avenue des Martyrs
38000 Grenoble