CEA technological Research Division

Liten (Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials) is an institute forming part of the CEA’s Technological Research Division, and is one of Europe’s leading research centers in the new energy technology field. Involved in 400 research partnership contracts every year, Liten works hand in hand with French industry. Research activities are focused on renewable energy sources (solar energy, biomass), energy efficiency (vehicles, low-energy buildings, hydrogen technology, electric power system management, etc.) and, lastly, high-performance materials for energy applications.
The MINATEC innovation campus is home to 2,400 researchers, 1,200 students, and 600 business and technology transfer experts on a 20-hectare state-of-the-art campus with 10,000 m² of clean room space. An international hub for micro and nanotechnology research, the MINATEC campus is unlike any other R&D facility in Europe. The Nanocharacterization Center is jointly operated by CEA Grenoble institutes Leti, Liten, and INAC. The platform’s mission is to develop new characterization techniques for applications that include micro and nanotechnologies, nanomaterials, and materials for the energy industry. PFNC also performs the characterization work required for CEA and CEA partner research programs. More about CEA

Subject of the thesis

We aim at using a state-of-the-art method for characterization of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) on silicon electrodes and lithium life cycle.The Solid Electrolyte Interface (SEI) plays an essential role in the operation and aging of the electrode material. Although the SEI is intensively studied for years, many questions are still outstanding. Surface analysis (XPS, Auger and ToF-SIMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR and in situ NMR) are known to be key approaches for a meticulous analysis of SEI. To go even further in this investigation, we plan to work with different lithium isotopes and take advantage of the ability of NMR and ToF-SIMS to separate lithium isotopes contribution. In parallel, pre-lithiation is a way to compensate the lithium trapping during the first cycle, by adding a supplemental lithium source, low cost and without significant mass contribution. The thesis will try different ways. The understanding of the interfaces dynamic will be able to indicate the suitability of the different prelithiation ways studied.
This work will take place at LITEN, in CEA Grenoble. Characterizations will be carried out at the Nanocharacterization Center at Minatec Campus while battery cells and electrochemical analysis will be achieved in the Electricity and Hydrogen for Transport department. Complementary analysis will be considered as well, such as scanning or transmission electronic microscopy (SEM/TEM) or atomic force microscopy (AFM).
The PhD student will have an excellent working environment with privileged access to various characterization techniques on state-of-the-art instruments. A strong interaction with different research teams is essential, so that communication and openness will be important assets for the success of this thesis work.
Skill area:must have strong skills in condensed matter, solid state, surface and interface physics and a strong interest in high level characterization techniques and experimental work. And also strong interest in high level characterieation techniques and experimental work(in situ NMR, XPS, Tof-SIMS and high vacuum sample transfer between the instruments etc.)

Salary range:25000-35000€ annual gross
Application deadline:04/30/2017
Contact:Eric De Vito Minatec Campus,CEA Grenoble email: eric.de-vito@cea.fr tel: +33 (0)4 38 78 28 87

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