Mechanical Behaviour of solid state lithium ion batteries

The ceramic lithium ion conductor Li7La3Zr2O12 (LLZO) has been shown to be promising electrolyte materials for solid state lithium ion batteries. While its electrochemical properties have been well studied there is comparatively little information on the mechanical properties of these materials. This data is a key requirement for the development of a better model of the mechanical behaviour of the materials during the charge-discharge cycle.

This project will use a range of nano and mico-mechanical indentation methods to study, the hardness, elastic modulus, yield stress and fracture toughness of these materials processed in both bulk and thin film forms. These properties will be related to local microstructural features through the use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) and Raman Spectroscopy. Finally these micromechanical properties will be compared to bulk fracture properties obtained through four point bend flexure tests. The data produced in this way will not only be useful for seeding models but allow optimisation of processing routes for producing electrolytes with improved lifetimes.

This EPSRC-funded 3.5 year DPhil in Materials DTP studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a student with home fee status (this status includes an EU student who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study). Candidates with EU fee status are eligible for a fees-only award, but normally would have to provide funding for their living costs from another source such as personal funds or a scholarship. The stipend will be at least £16,009 per year. Information on fee status can be found at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/fees-and-other-charges.

Candidates are considered in the January 2020 admissions cycle which has an application deadline of 24 January 2020.

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Professor David Armstrong (david.armstrong@materials.ox.ac.uk). General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e mail to graduate.admissions@materials.ox.ac.uk. You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies. Further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate_courses/apply/index.html.

The description above outlines a possible new research project being offered to prospective new postgraduate students.

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