Horizons for advanced rechargeable batteries, Li ion systems and beyond them

Doron Aurbach

Bar Ilan university

Abstract: Challenges such as electrochemical propulsion by electric vehicles (EV), and the need for large-scale storage of sustainable energy (i.e. load-levelling applications) motivate and stimulate the development of advanced novel rechargeable batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are the focus of intensive R&D efforts because they promise very high energy density that may be suitable for electrical propulsion. In this presentation we review research on advanced rechargeable batteries: Li, Na and Mg ion, Li-S and Li-oxygen batteries. The main theme of this presentation will be to examine what is the true horizons for all of these batteries: what we can really promise.  For Li ion batteries the frontier include Ni rich, Mn&Li rich Lix[NiMnCo]O2 cathodes and C-Si anodes.  The anode side: intercalation, alloying or conversion reactions will be discussed as well. We will also discuss the renaissance in R&D of Li metal as an anode material in rechargeable batteries.  We will examine the challenges of stability related to advanced cathodes and anodes suggesting means for mitigating capacity fading mechanisms. R&D of novel battery systems requires to invest great efforts in basic science, in order to understand the correlation among structure, morphology, surface chemistry  and electrochemical performance of all the components in the power sources and storage devices. Electrochemistry, spectroscopy, diffractometry, high resolution microscopy and calorimetry  should be employed simultaneously in each single study.  Today we are experiencing the nano revolution. This presentation will discuss also the relevance of nano-materials to the field of high energy density batteries. While nano-materials have advantages from kinetics point of view, for batteries they may mean pronounced side reactions and low volumetric specific capacity. We will examine briefly the status of several “beyond Li battery” technologies. Na ion batteries struggle with intrinsic structural stability problems. Mg batteries are still in basic research stage. A nice progress was made with Li-S cathodes. The Li anodes the limiting factor.  Regarding Li-oxygen batteries, a key problem is the high reactivity of ALL relevant electrolyte solutions to the peroxide/superoxide moieties formed by oxygen reduction. We will discuss in brief the progress made so far. 

Biography: DORON AURBACH is a full professor in the department of Chemistry, leading the electrochemistry group (40 people),a senate member at Bar Ilan university (BIU). He chaired the department of chemistry during 2001-2005. Aurbach found the electrochemistry group at BIU 32 years ago. 60 PhD and 70 MSc students that worked in Aurbach’s group received their degrees since then. His team studies the electrochemistry of active metals, non-aqueous electrochemical  systems, develop spectroscopic methods (in situ and ex situ) for sensitive electrochemical systems, study electrochemical intercalation processes, electrochemical water desalination, electronically conducting red-ox polymers  and develop rechargeable high energy density batteries and EDL capacitors. The group collaborates with several prominent academic groups throughout the world and with a number of leading industries in Israel and abroad (e.g. BASF Germany and GM USA ). 
D. Aurbach have published so far more than 580 peer reviewed papers, more than 42000 citations, H index of 103 (Google, October 2017), 23 patents, 19 chapters  in books and presented  his scientific work in hundreds of invited talks in international conferences. D. Aurbach is serving as a senior editor in the journal of the electrochemical Society JES).  He is a fellow of the ECS (since 2008), ISE (2010) and MRS (2012). He is the head of INREP: Israel national research center for electrochemical propulsion (found in 2012, 22 research groups, 5 Israeli institutions), served as the chairman of the Israeli national authority for labs accreditation (2010-2016). He received the ECS battery division technology award (2005), the Israel vacuum society (IVS) and Israel chemical society (ICS) excellence prizes (2007, 2012), the Landau prize for research towards green energy (2011), the ECS battery division research award, the Kolthoff prize (2013) and the E.B. Yeager prize of the International Battery Association IBA (2014) a member of the European Academy (2015), Alan Bard Award of the electrochemical Society (ECS) and the Alexander Frumkin Medal of  the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), in 2017.
Doron Aurbach and his team have developed several types of high energy density rechargeable Li batteries, invented rechargeable Mg batteries and novel super-capacitors, developed new lead-acid batteries for load leveling applications and developed devices for electrochemical desalination of brackish water.