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PhD thesis defense of Giulia Maino

PhD thesis defense of Giulia Maino

Nov 07, 2017 - 15.00 uur

Universiteit Hasselt

campus Diepenbeek

Agoralaan Gebouw D

3590 Diepenbeek

Lokaal auditorium H3

Giulia Maino invites you to the public defense of her doctoral thesis entitled: "Chemical solution deposition of LiMn2O4 cathodes for thin film lithium ion batteries: following the path from precursor chemistry towards active 2D and high aspect ratio 3D layers".

Promoter is Prof. Dr. Marlies K. Van Bael

Co-promoter is Prof. Dr. An Hardy


If I ask around why batteries are so important for everyday life, most of the people, whether they are scientist or not, think about cellphones, computers or cars. In fact those tools are very important for our present routine, but what about our future?

We have an energy demands that won’t be fulfilled anymore with petrol and we have a contaminated planet that needs to be preserved from other polluting technologies!

This are only few of the reasons why the research is moving towards more sustainable and clean energies and Li-ion batteries are one of the most important examples of that. The project I worked on was about an even better and safer concept of Li-ion battery: a 3D all-solid state version of it.

Moving towards this new concept means first, removing dangerous liquids (all-solid state) and secondly, highly improving the performance of the battery (using a new 3D battery shape). In practice a battery is made of three parts/materials: a cathode (+) an anode (-) and an electrolyte in between. I was in charge of the positive electrode (cathode), Manganese based. The material chosen had to be synthesized via a water-based route (to avoid polluting organic solvents) and had to be deposited to form a thin film (around 100nm) in 3D. All this requirements are not easy to fulfil at the same time, but together with the colleague in charge of the other two materials, we managed to obtain remarkable results both on single materials and on the final combined battery. I achieved good working electrode, able to improve the quality of the present cathode materials. This research is not going to stop because of the urgent need of clean energy. Next generation lithium, sodium, sulfur ion batteries are around the corner and will for sure contribute in a better world.