Towards multifunctional batteries – insights into carbon fibres in dynamic electrochemical and mechanical processes

Structural composite batteries are a truly integrated multifunctional device for simultaneous load-bearing and energy storage. In these novel batteries, carbon fibres play dual roles: reinforcements (as in carbon fibre composites) and anodes (as in batteries). However, the relationship between the microstructure and the electrochemical property of the carbon fibres is not fully understood. Additionally, a fundamental understanding is largely lacking on how the interplay between mechanical loading and electrochemical cycling influences the microstructural evolution of carbon fibres, and vice versa. In this project we aim to gain unprecedented insights into operating batteries with close to atomic resolution by using advanced in-situ microscopy and coupled correlative microscopy. Success of this project will also open the door to many fascinating multifunctional carbon fibre composites: such as sensing, actuation, morphing and energy harvesting.

Start date 01/01/2019
End date 31/12/2023

Published: Sat 20 Jul 2019.