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Sujet de stage / Master 2 Internship

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Investigating of sodium-oxygen batteries using in situ solid-state NMR spectroscopy

Contact: GAUTHIER Magali/ WONG Alan, , magali.gauthier@cea.fr, +33 1 69 08 45 30
The aim of the project is to understand using in situ solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) the reactions mechanisms in sodium-oxygen batteries.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Oui
Deadline for application:29/03/2019

Full description:
Rechargeable metal-O2 batteries have attracted much attention in recent years as a possible alternative to the widely used lithium-ion batteries. Particularly for sodium-oxygen batteries (Na-O2), this is due to their potential high energy density, low polarization, and more importantly low-cost and eco-friendly aspect of sodium. However, great challenges remain in the development of Na-O2 batteries, including the stabilization of the discharge products, poor cyclability and the need for new cathode design. On a more fundamental aspect, one much completely grasps the understanding of the underlying electrochemical mechanisms taking placed inside the Na-O2 battery.1 Clear identifications of the discharge electrochemical pathways and their products (NaO2 or Na2O2), as well as the reactivity of the electrolyte, are crucial. In situ/operando techniques can capture the dynamic changes unequivocally in the cell working environment during cycling and provide unprecedented information on intermediate phases that may be undetectable through ex situ analyses. The master student’s objective will be to investigate the electrochemical and chemical reactions in Na-O2 batteries under real-time potential cycling using recently emerged in situ solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The work will consist of 1) optimizing the cycling conditions of the newly designed in situ solid-state NMR cell at NIMBE for studying metal-O2 batteries and 2) understanding the oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR/OER) mechanisms as well as electrolyte’s degradation in a Na-O2 cell comprising a carbon-based positive electrode and an electrolyte based on glyme solvents.
Technics/methods used during the internship:
Electrochemistry, NMR

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