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HELLO! I'M Cristiana.

Cristiana joined INL as a Marie Curie COFUND research fellow and is working in the Atomic Structure-Composition of Materials group at the Department of Advanced Electron Microscopy, Imaging and Spectroscopy. Her research activity focuses on determining the phase and chemical composition distribution in micrometric NMC polycrystalline particles, to understand the Li mobility during charge/discharge and consequently the performance of these Li-ion battery materials.

 

 
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About Cristiana 

Cristiana Alves finished her Master degree in Materials Engineering at the University of Minho in 2013. Her master thesis was awarded by our Engineering Foundation (“Ordem dos Engenheiros”). In 2018, Cristiana Alves completed a PhD in Materials Engineering at University of Minho. The dissertation focused on the “Development of bioactive surfaces for bone ingrowth on dental implants”, supervised by Professor Sandra Carvalho from the Physics Department of the University of Minho. An FCT PhD fellowship supported her PhD. 


During her PhD, Cristiana had the opportunity to conduct research abroad at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), the Center of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Coimbra, CENIMAT/I3N at the University of New Lisbon (UNL) and the Département de Physique et de Mécanique des Matériaux of the University of Poitiers. These visits enhanced her exposure to interdisciplinary research, as well as a multicultural atmosphere.


Recently, Cristiana joins INL as a Marie Curie COFUND research fellow and is working in the Atomic Structure-Composition of Materials group at the Department of Advanced Electron Microscopy, Imaging and Spectroscopy. Her research activity focuses on determining the phase and chemical composition distribution in micrometric NMC polycrystalline particles, to understand the Li mobility during charge/discharge and consequently the performance of these Li-ion battery materials.

 

 

The Cofund project

Phase and composition mapping of polycrystalline Li-ion battery materials

A recent BP Statistical Review of the World [1] and BP Energy Outlook [2] reported an increase in oil consumption of about 1.6 million barrels per day in which 2/3 is attributed to the automobile sector.  The fast combustion of traditional fossil fuels represents an energy crisis threat along with severe pollutants emissions and greenhouse effect do not match the requirements of a growing global economy.

In this context, the new generation of Li-ion batteries (LIBs), which are expected to exhibit light weight, high energy density, long cycling life and environmental friendliness, will be used in electronic applications and as a green-power source for electric vehicles. However, LIBs electrochemical performance is determined by the structural and chemical composition of the electrode materials and electrolyte, more specifically of the cathode material. In particular, there are major concerns related with battery duration, charging rate and safety issues. The new LiNixCoyMnzO2 (NMC) cathode exhibits similar specific capacity and operating voltage compared with the LiCoO2 cathode used in the first LIB battery commercialized by SONY, while is less toxic.

The objective of the COFUND project is to fundamentally understand the phase and chemical composition distribution within micrometric polycrystalline LiNixCoyMnzO2 (NMC) particles that compose the cathode side of commercial Li-ion batteries. In particular, this project will determine the changes in phase, texture orientation and chemical distribution during charge/discharge to be able to enhance the synthesis of these materials, reduce structural instabilities and improve electrochemical performance. The strategy to obtain in-depth structural and chemical information of polycrystalline NMC cathode materials, in particular phase and composition mapping is to use precession electron diffraction coupled with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a transmission electron microscope.

References:

[1] Petroleum B. BP Statistical Review of the World Energy 2017 edition. 2017.

[2] Petroleum B. BP Energy Outlook 2017 edition. 2017.

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