Europakarte

European Training Network POLYSTORAGE

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The Project

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The development of advanced storage technologies to enable the integration of sustainable energy sources in the electric grid represents a major challenge for our society. In the last years, lithium-ion batteries attracted great attention and became the most known and widespread battery system in our society. However, since they contain toxic and/or scarce metals, e.g., cobalt and nickel, as well as flammable solvents, the development of more environmentally friendly and safer battery technologies represents a priority. Additionally, this technology is limited when flexibility, low cost, or even higher energy density are important. POLYSTORAGE will tackle these limitations by developing highly innovative polymer electrolytes and polymer active materials for advanced post-lithium batteries.

Polymers are currently applied in lithium-ion batteries mostly as additives and/or binders. The next generation of energy storage technologies needs new polymer innovations to solve current technological issues. In particular, novel polymer electrolytes, being compatible with advanced electrode materials (e.g., sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, lithium-metal, sodium-air) and displaying high ionic conductivity and mechanical stability, as well as innovative redox-active polymers for the use as active materials in emerging polymer-based battery technologies (polymer redox-flow batteries (pRFBs) and hybrid organic batteries) are urgently needed. The new polymers will be optimized for processing in semi-automatic or fully automatic pilot lines and the best performing system will be scaled up and integrated in real cell configurations by an industrial partner.

The main scientific and technical objectives are:

  • Synthesis of innovative polymer architectures with multiple functionalities (ionic/electronic transport, ionic/mechanical properties, and redox performance/high solubility).
  • Investigation of the supramolecular organisation using cutting-edge techniques (high-res 3D imaging, cryo-TEM, cryo-STEM) to enable in-situ characterisation of the materials.
  • Development and integration of significantly improved polymer electrolytes and polymer active materials for advanced battery technologies.
  • Realisation of a semi-industrial redox flow battery system optimized for the new polymer-based chemistry.
  • Upscaling of selected polymer electrolyte systems, which will be integrated in lab-scale prototype cells, and basic proof-of-concept engineering of a pilot plant.

The multidisciplinary aspect of POLYSTORAGE is reflected in the high number of research areas within the proposed program including polymer chemistry, ionic liquids, supramolecular self-assembly, polymer physics, advanced characterisation, electrochemistry, energy storage technologies, and engineering. The ESRs will benefit from a comprehensive training program featuring inter-sectorial and multidisciplinary technical courses, rich transferable skills training and international secondments with a strong focus on industrial experience. The POLYSTORAGE researchers will be capable of leading interdisciplinary research activities with a unique expertise. In this context, the POLYSTORAGE training network will serve as a European platform for outstanding doctoral training in the field of innovative polymers for next-generation electrochemical energy storage.

Beneficiaries

Logo FSU Jena
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Logo University of the Basque Country
University of the Basque Country
Logo Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Logo Uppsala University
Uppsala University
Logo UCL
Université catholique de Louvain
Logo Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Logo IMDEA Energy
IMDEA Energy
Logo LITHOPS S.R.L.
LITHOPS S.R.L.
Logo University of Pau
University of Pau
Logo Aalto University
Aalto University
Logo National Institute of Chemistry
National Institute of Chemistry
Logo E22 Energy Storage Solutions
E22 Energy Storage Solutions

Partners

Logo Deakin University
Deakin University
Logo Scania CV AB
Scania CV AB
Logo Toyota Motor Europe
Toyota Motor Europe
Logo Evonik Creavis GmbH
Evonik Creavis GmbH
Logo TCI Europe
TCI Europe
Logo Calix Limited
Calix - Europe SARL / Calix Limited
Logo Chemspeed Technologies AG
Chemspeed Technologies AG
Logo NETZSCH Gerätebau GmbH
NETZSCH Gerätebau GmbH
Logo University of Ljubljana
University of Ljubljana
Logo Solvionic S.A.
Solvionic S.A.
Logo Repsol S.A.
Repsol S.A.
Logo Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.

Early Stage Researchers (ESRs)

ESR 1: Micelles of redox-active amphiphilic diblock copolymers for water-based polymer redox flow batteries Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the preparation of micelles of redox-active diblock copolymers for aqueous polymer redox flow batteries. This project will include (i) synthesis of diblock copolymers containing a redox-active block, (ii) detailed study of the copolymer micellisation (DLS, cryoTEM) and stability of the polymeric micelles, (iii) investigation of the viscosity and the electrochemical properties of the micelles in water-based anolytes and catholytes for polymer redox flow batteries.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germanyde 

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert
ulrich.schubert@uni-jena.de

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 May 2020

Application deadline

29 February 2020

Further information can be found here.

ESR 2: Solid polymer electrolytes for hybrid organic polymer batteries Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development and synthesis of solid polymer electrolytes for the application in hybrid organic polymer batteries. This project will include (i) synthesis of solid polymer electrolytes, (ii) characterisation of the SPE regarding molecular and macroscopic properties through thermal, spectroscopic, and electrochemical methods.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germanyde

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert
ulrich.schubert@uni-jena.de

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 March 2020

Application deadline

05 January 2020

Further information can be found here.

ESR 3: Synthesis of naturally inspired redox polymers Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the synthesis of new, naturally inspired redox polymers including catechol, polyphenol, or quinone functionalities. This project will include (i) smart-selection monomers and polymerisation methods, (ii) electrochemical characterisation of redox-active polymers, (iii) integration of selected redox polymers in polymer redox flow batteries or as redox active binders.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

University of the Basque Country, Spain

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. David Mecerreyes
david.mecerreyes@ehu.es 

Secondments
Additional Mentors
  • Prof. Dr. Roberto Dominko (National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia, Robert.Dominko@ki.si
  • tba (E22 Energy Storage Solutions, Spain)
Planned start of employment

01 March 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 4: Development of hybrid organic batteries with solid polymer electrolytes and redox polymer electrodes Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development of lab-scale prototype hybrid organic batteries containing solid polymer electrolytes and redox polymer electrodes. This project will include (i) identification of cell fabrication parameters leading to good cell performance and long cycle life, (ii) investigation of charge transfer at the electrode-electrolyte interface, (iii) fabrication of laboratory-scale prototype cells containing a redox polymer cathode, a solid polymer electrolyte, and a lithium metal anode.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Stefano Passerini
stefano.passerini@kit.edu

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

01 May 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 5: Polymer coatings of ceramic electrolytes and fabrication of all-solid-state post-lithium-ion batteries Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the construction of solid electrolytes with high bulk conductivity and good interfacial properties. This project will include (i) coating of polymer electrolytes by UV curing on ceramic (Garnet oxide) electrolyte particles, (ii) all-solid-state battery construction based on polymer-coated solid-state electrolytes and testing thereof, (iii) tailoring of interfacial properties for functional solid-state devices, (iv) characterisation of electrode-polymer-ceramic interfaces and interphases.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Uppsala University, Sweden

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Kristina Edström
kristina.edstrom@kemi.uu.se 

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

01 March 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 6: Synthesis of ABC-type block copolymers for increased mechanical stability and ionic mobility Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development and evaluation of synthetic strategies for the synthesis of ABC-type block copolymers. This project will include (i) synthesis of polymers with pendant groups for increased ionic mobility, (ii) structural characterisation and morphological understanding of ABC-type block copolymers, (iii) understanding of the structure/morphology influences on ionic mobility and mechanical properties in ABC-type block copolymers.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Uppsala University, Sweden

Main supervisor

Dr. Tim Melander Bowden
Tim.Bowden@kemi.uu.se

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

01 May 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 7: Development of redox-active block copolymers featuring good electrical and ionic conductivities as new materials for organic radical cathodes Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development of block copolymers incorporating three distinct functionalities: a redox polymer block for energy storage, a conducting polymer block to ensure electrical conductivity and efficient charge collection, and a solid polymer electrolyte block ensuring good ion conductivity for ion-exchange processes. This project will include (i) study of the phase separation among the different constituent blocks, (ii) proper annealing procedures, (iii) characterisation of the obtained nanostructures, (iv) electrochemical characterisation (electrical and ionic conductivities, hybrid organic batteries).

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Jean-François Gohy
jean-francois.gohy@uclouvain.be 

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

01 March 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 8: Development of advanced all-solid-state polymer electrolytes using innovative rapid and solvent-free procedures Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the preparation of solid polymer electrolytes using free radical polymerisation to obtain electrolytes with non-flammability, high thermal stability (≥ 150 °C), high ionic conductivity (≥ 0.1 mS/cm at room temperature), high safety, resistance towards lithium dendrite growth and related short circuits, and processability at industrial level using in-situ preparation and solvent-free procedures. This project will include (i) UV- and/or thermally induced free radical polymerisation, (ii) surface functionalisation of the already prepared polymer electrolytes using functionalised ionic liquids to increase conductivity and safety, (iii) characterisation of polymer networks by thermal, mechanical, and surface analysis, (iv) electrochemical characterisation (ionic conductivity -40 to 100 °C, electrochemical stability, performance by CD studies), (v) optimisation of dendrite growth and ion diffusion by the use of specifically selected and/or developed additives.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Claudio Gerbaldi
claudio.gerbaldi@polito.it 

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 May 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 9: Development of redox-active colloids/suspensions for semi-solid redox flow batteries Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development of redox-active colloids or suspensions of polymer-based particles. The redox-active particles should act as individual charge carriers incorporating redox functionalities into a well-defined polymer 3D structure for facile charge transport. Translation of the semi-solid redox flow battery concept, already demonstrated for inorganic materials (lithium-ion, sodium-ion chemistry), to the polymer field. The suspensions will contain redox-active moieties derived from quinones, viologens, nitroxides, catechols, etc., which will provide the reversible redox behaviour. This project will include (i) synthesis of redox-active polymer dispersions, (ii) preparation of conductive suspensions using conducting polymers or carbonaceous additives, (iii) electrochemical investigation of redox-active suspensions, (iv) investigation of semi-solid redox flow batteries using redox-active materials with different redox potentials.

Host institutions

University of the Basque Country, Spain (01.03.2020 – 31.08.2021) 
IMDEA Energy, Spain (01.09.2021 – 28.02.2023)

PhD enrolment

University of the Basque Country (Spain)

Main supervisors

Prof. Dr. David Mecerreyes
david.mecerreyes@ehu.es

Dr. Rebeca Marcilla
rebeca.marcilla@imdea.org

Secondments
Additional Mentors
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, ulrich.schubert@uni-jena.de)
  • tba (E22 Energy Storage Solutions, Spain)
Planned start of employment

1 March 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 10: Development of conjugated porous polymers with enhanced electrochemical properties Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development of conjugated porous polymers with a large surface area and redox-active groups. The porous material will include at least two distinct functionalities, a functionality able to undergo fast and reversible redox reactions and a conducting polymer functionality to ensure electrical conductivity and efficient charge collection. This project will include (i) synthesis of conjugated porous polymers having redox-active moieties, (ii) control of the morphology through reaction conditions, (iii) investigation of electrochemical properties in a half-cell configuration, (iv) understanding the structure-performance relationships.

Host institution 

IMDEA Energy, Spain

PhD enrolment

University of the Basque Country, Spain

Main supervisor

Dr. Rebeca Marcilla
rebeca.marcilla@imdea.org

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 May 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 11: Polymer-electrolyte optimisation and feasibility study on the industrialisation of the production process Show content

The objective of this PhD study is the optimisation and processing of polymer-electrolyte formulations towards adaption to semi-automatic or fully automatic pilot lines as well as the verification of the possibility of direct deposition on the electrode surface at a lab-scale. This project will include (i) in-situ polymerisation of the selected liquid, multifunctional reactive precursors onto the electrode film using UV-induced thermal polymerisation processes, (ii) assembly and electrochemical testing of electrode/electrolyte multilayers, (iii) fabrication of advanced all-solid lithium-ion polymer cells at a lab-scale, (iv) design of a suitable pilot plant to implement the developed process and realise a basic proof-of-concept engineering comprising market analysis.

Host institution

LITHOPS S.R.L., Italy

PhD enrolment

Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Main supervisor

Dr. Matteo Destro

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 May 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 12: Control of the hierarchical self-assembly of ion-containing block-copolymer blends and exploration of the morphology-electrochemical-properties correlation Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development of a novel strategy to optimise the lithium-(or sodium-)ion-transport number without sacrificing ionic conductivity through multiscale polymer-blend self-assembly. This project will include (i) synthesis of homopolymers, di- and triblock copolymers containing polar blocks able to host and dissociate the salt (ion-conducting block), single-ion blocks with grafted anions, and mechanically stable high-glass-temperature blocks, (ii) specific sample preparation, e.g., in-situ polymerisation, to generate multiscales out of equilibrium morphologies, (iii) characterisation of morphologies with small-angle scattering techniques supplemented by microscopy.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

University of Pau, France

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Laurent Rubatat
laurent.rubatat@univ-pau.fr 

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 March 2020

Application deadline

06 January 2020

Further information can be found here.

ESR 13: High-resolution morphological characterisation and 3D imaging of self-assembly polymer electrolytes and copolymer micellisation Show content

The objective of this PhD study is the morphological characterisation and 3D imaging of self-assembling polymer electrolytes and copolymer micellisation, including (i) nanoscale structure characterisation using high-resolution instrumentation (e.g., HR-TEM, liquid-helium cryo-TEM, 3D-imaging using dual beam FIB-SEM, and AFM), (ii) material characterisation by small-angle X-ray and XRD methods, (iii) cryo-TEM study of the redox-active diblock copolymer micellisation and the stability of the polymeric micelles.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Aalto University, Finland

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Janne Ruokolainen
janne.ruokolainen@aalto.fi

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 May 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 14: Hybrid organic polymers for post-lithium-ion batteries Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development and synthesis of hybrid organic polymers and their application in post-lithium-ion batteries (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium). This project will include (i) synthesis of hybrid organic polymers, (ii) characterisation of the hybrid organic polymers, and (iii) application in monovalent and multivalent post-lithium-ion batteries.

Host institution

National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia

PhD enrolment

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Main supervisors

Prof. Dr. Robert Dominko
Robert.Dominko@ki.si 

Prof. Dr. Janez Cerkovnik
Janez.Cerkovnik@fkkt.uni-lj.si 

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 March 2020

Application deadline

12 January 2020

Further information can be found here.

ESR 15: Polymer-based redox flow battery system and characterisation Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the development of a battery system (stack, control) optimised for new polymer-based redox flow chemistries. (i) Identification of stack materials, (ii) cell assembly, (iii) development of the control system, and (iv) techno-economic analysis of the solution for product commercialisation.

Host institution

E22 Energy Storage Solutions, Spain

PhD enrolment

University of the Basque Country, Spain

Main supervisor

tba

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 May 2020

will be opend soon

ESR 17: Ionic-liquid polymer electrolytes for sodium-air batteries Show content

The main objective of this PhD study is the study of the oxygen-reduction reaction mechanisms in an ionic-liquid-based solid electrolyte using carbon-based materials as air cathodes. This project will include (i) synthesis of ionogels, (ii) electrochemical studies in half cells, and (iii) electrochemical investigations in full cells using sodium as the anode.

Host institution and PhD enrolment

Deakin University, Australia

Main supervisor

Prof. Dr. Maria Forsyth
maria.forsyth@deakin.edu.au 

Secondments
Additional Mentors
Planned start of employment

1 March 2020

will be opend soon

Application platform

Please send your application including the following documents as one pdf file to polystorage-etn@uni-jena.de as well as to the responsible supervisor (see ESR descriptions above):

  1. Filled application form [pdf 279KB]
  2. Motivation letter
  3. Curriculum vitae of at most 3 pages. Europass C.V. format preferred
  4. Transcripts and certifications from university:
    1. Bachelor degree, including class ranking if possible
    2. Master degree (or equivalent), including class ranking if possible
  5. Names of at least two references who are willing to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf (they may be contacted by us)
  6. Any other relevant documents

For more information about each ESR position, see also the respective local job advertisements at the beneficiaries’ web pages.

The Team

Symbolbild Team Image: Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert
(Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Coordinator)

Prof. Dr. David Mecerreyes
(University of the Basque Country)

Prof. Dr. Stefano Passerini
(Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

Prof. Dr. Kristina Edström
(Uppsala University)

Prof. Dr. Jean-François Gohy
(Université catholique de Louvain)

Prof. Dr. Claudio Gerbaldi
(Politecnico di Torino)

Dr. Rebeca Marcilla
(IMDEA Energy)

Dr. Matteo Destro
(LITHOPS S.R.L.)

Prof. Dr. Laurent Rubatat
(University of Pau)

Prof. Dr. Janne Ruokolainen
(Aalto University)

Prof. Dr. Robert Dominko
(National Institute of Chemistry)

tba
(E22 Energy Storage Solutions)

Prof. Dr. Maria Forsyth
(Deakin University)

Contact POLYSTORAGE ETN

Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, c/o Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert
Humboldtstr. 10
07743 Jena
Phone
+49 3641 9-48200
Fax
+49 3641 9-48202
European Union Image: European Union

Funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860403.

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