Swedish Neutron Education for Science & Society

Ashok Sreekumar Menon, Indian

I graduated from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands in July 2017 with a MSc degree in Materials Science & Engineering. I specialized in energy storage systems and materials for sustainable development. For my graduate thesis I worked on lithium (and sodium) metal anodes for metal batteries. My motivation was to study the dendrite formation mechanism and explore different ways to counter it. I developed a 3-dimensional porous nickel substrate through a facile electrodeposition method which was used as an anode-side current collector/scaffold to contain lithium and sodium metal. The electrochemical Li (and Na) cycling performance and other relevant parameters were studied in detail through various characterization methods. I also studied the effect of atomic layer deposition on the lithium cycling behaviour.

My project with SwedNess is focused on anionic redox materials for next generation lithium and sodium ion batteries. The aim of this project is to understand the structural origins of the anionic redox processes in positive electrode materials for Li and Na ion batteries - how the oxygen bonding changes during insertion and extraction of Li or Na ions from the material. To this end a range of techniques will be utilized, with special focus on X-ray and neutron diffraction methods. These materials are typically crystalline, such as the layered Li-excess transition metal oxides such as Li2MO3 (where M can be a 3d or 4d transition metal). This crystalline nature makes anionic redox materials ideal candidates for investigation using in operando diffraction techniques. The development of these materials can pave the way to improved energy storage systems.