Exchanging the active species, Li by multivalent, abundant and cheap cations, such as Mg, are projected to boost energy densities and lower the cost per kilo-watt-hour significantly, making the Mg-ion battery technology a highly promising candidate for large scale energy storage. Recently, well-functioning high capacity negative electrodes (anodes) and electrolytes have been identified and demonstrated in laboratory-scale Mg-ion battery cells. With these in hand the major limitation of the Mg-ion battery technology is the need for suitable high capacity positive electrode (cathode) materials.
The aim of this project is to develop novel improved high capacity cathode materials for Mg-ion batteries based on abundant, cheap, and safe materials. A major part of the project is utilization of advanced state-of-the-art in operando studies of structural changes on the atomic scale within the battery electrodes as they undergo charge and discharge. This will provide new important insight into phase transformations and intercalation mechanisms during operation of multivalent batteries yielding novel design criteria for material optimization and thereby move the battery technology beyond the well-known lithium system and significantly improve the performance.
This research is based on a Villum Young Investigator Grant from the Villum Foundation running from 2014 – 2017.