Because knowledge of mechanical degradation resulting from volume changes during battery operation and other detrimental side reactions such as gassing due to continuous electrolyte decomposition is limited, one of our key objectives is to study and understand processes occurring in silicon-based cells using in-situ and/or operando techniques (differential electrochemical mass spectrometry, electrochemical atomic force microscopy etc.) to direct materials development.
Active and Inactive Materials Design
One of the main disadvantages of silicon as active material is the pulverization effect which, however, can be mitigated by using nanoscale particles. Thus, the research at BELLA is dedicated in part to the synthesis of advanced nanomaterials and composites with different morphologies by chemical and physical methods. Besides, we explore new cell components such 3D current collectors, polymer binders, electrolytes, to name a few, to tailor the interplay between the active and inactive electrode materials.