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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 62 | 30. Oktober 2009
Priority Programme 1473 "Materials with New Design for Improved Lithium Ion Batteries - WeNDeLIB"  

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced the establishment of a new Priority Programme entitled "Materials with New Design for Improved Lithium Ion Batteries - WeNDeLIB". The programme is designed to run for six years.

In the course of this programme the relationships between thermodynamics, kinetics, crystal chemistry and the micro-/nanostructure of materials for lithium ion batteries should be scientifically investigated. This research aims at a better understanding of active masses, electrolytes and separators in view of the entire cell system. Thermodynamic and kinetic models should be combined with experiments and analyses according to best practices in materials science.

Reliable energy storage by technically improved and affordable mobile advanced batteries is the basis for the commercial breakthrough of electric vehicles. Lithium ion batteries are currently the most powerful systems to fulfil the technical demands to mobile energy storage systems. However, the introduction of this technology for mass production still requires significant improvements with regard to energy densities, cell voltage, capacities, cyclic performance, lifetime and a fully guaranteed safe battery operation. The energetics and reactivity of the materials have to be enhanced to bring about new high-performance batteries. This requires a completely new micro-/
nanostructure design of the multiphase materials for the cell components (electrodes, electrolytes and separator) and the investigation of the functional interaction of these components in the entire cell system.

To meet this goal fundamental research on the thermodynamic, kinetic and preparative aspects has to be performed.

The programme's main scientific objectives are:

  • Materials thermodynamics and kinetics studies aiming at the provision of advanced active materials for lithium ion batteries of the next generation with comprehensively improved performance spectrum.
  • Thermodynamic and kinetic modelling of the heterogeneous reactions, phase transformations and micro-/nanostructure developments of the active materials which are required for high performance operation and control of degradation.
  • Correlation of thermodynamic, kinetic and electrochemical properties and structural properties of the materials of the cell components.
  • Improvement of the energetics and the thermodynamic safety of the entire system by specific design on the level of chemistry and materials constitution (heterogeneous phase assembly).

Therefore, the main focus of the programme will be on (1) materials thermodynamics and kinetics, (2) heterogeneous equilibria and reactions, (3) innovative methods of preparation/synthesis of active materials and electrochemical investigations combined with this knowledge on thermodynamics and the constitution of cell materials.

Thermodynamic and kinetic modelling and experiments should be combined with advanced methods for preparation/synthesis and characterisation of the active materials. The materials constitution, the thermodynamic stabilities of the functional crystal structures and the phase transformations (in dependence of lithiation/delithiation, grain size, temperature) should be investigated in an integrated approach in this programme.

For this purpose the methods of Computational Thermodynamics (Ab initio, Calphad, Phase field, etc.) should be used. In addition to standard polycrystalline materials, nanostructured and amorphous cathode and anode materials should be prepared and their thermodynamic and electrochemical characteristics should be measured. Of major interest are scientific results which can be derived from methods of thermal analysis, calorimetry, Knudsen effusion mass spectrometry, high resolution electron microscopy and (in-situ, high-temperature) X-ray diffractometry.

The findings, which have to be correlated with results from electrochemical characterisation, should provide significant steps towards a focussed design of advanced materials for lithium ion batteries, based on specific thermochemical, crystal chemical and phase stability knowledge.

Proposals must focus on thermodynamic or kinetic aspects in materials synthesis and cell operation and be electrochemically relevant. Proposals that are exclusively directed toward synthetic or preparative character and those of empirical character only will not be considered.

Joint proposals (Gemeinschaftsanträge) and bundled proposals (Paketanträge) of interdisciplinary character combining modelling, simulation and experiments are especially welcome.

Proposals for an initial three-year funding period should be submitted in English on CD-ROM (including the proposal and all appendices as PDF files) no later than 29 January 2010. Submissions, marked as "SPP 1473 - WeNDeLIB", should be addressed to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Attn. Dr. Burkhard Jahnen, 53170 Bonn. A colloquium and the review panel meeting are planned for March/April 2010. The first funding period will start in the summer of 2010.

Further Information

For scientific enquiries concerning the scope of the programme, please contact the Priority Programme's coordinator:

  • Prof. Dr. Hans J. Seifert
    Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg
    Institut für Werkstoffwissenschaft
    Gustav-Zeuner-Str. 5
    09599 Freiberg
    Tel. +49 3731 39 26 22 or -26 07
    Fax. +49 3731 39 36 57