ResearchCopyright: Peter Winandy
Energy storage materials are becoming more and more important for the conversion of our energy system towards renewable energies. Such materials contribute to decentralizing the grid and thus strengthen autark homes. Additionally, high performance energy storage systems are a key for mobile applications as well as electric vehicles. The ambiguous goal of limiting the global warming to less than 2 °C compared to pre-industrial time cannot be reached without improved energy storage materials.
Different approaches can be realized in order to store energy. We are focusing our research in the field of batteries, especially metal-air systems and all solid state batteries. High energy densities, longer lifetime and improved cycling stability at the same time as thermal stability and safety can only be reached when an exact understanding of mechanisms and processes in energy materials under electrochemical load is obtained. Degradation, interfacial properties and intercalation/deintercalation occur on a molecular level while we are using Atomic Force Microscopy as our primary method. Advantages are the ability to perform experiments under in-operando or
in-situ conditions as well as recording various sample characteristics such as morphology, adhesion, E-modulus or electrical conductivity simultaneous and with high spatial resolution.
We are confident that awareness of mechanisms and processes of mechanical and electrochemical nature at interfaces in energy storage materials will contribute significantly to the improvement of next generation batteries.