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Mesoporous electrode materials for lithium ion batteries

Nanostructuring electrode and electrolyte materials for their performance enhancement in batteries.

Mesoporous materials have advantageous morphologies that offer a hierarchical structural design motif which could be incorporated into the current established large-scale fabrication processes. Despite the fact that device performance hinges on the precise morphological characteristics of these materials, control over the detailed mesopore structure and the tunability of the pore size remains a challenge. Especially the accessibility of a wide range of mesopore sizes by the same synthesis method is desirable, as this would allow for a comparative study of the relationship between structural features and performance. We have developed a method that combines sol−gel chemistry with polymer micro- and macrophase separation to synthesize mesoporous materials having various morphologies, such as microspheres, with tunable pore sizes.

Our synthesis strategy presents a facile one-pot approach that can be applied to different structure-directing agents and inorganic materials. We have successfully applied this method on titania (anatase), an anode material in lithium ion batteries, and we are currently transferring this method onto a wider range of electrode materials and battery systems.

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