Materials for Electrochemical Energy Storage

Main course: Materials Science

Module Leaders: Dr Elizabeth Castillo Martinez, Dr Javier Carretero Gonzalez
Home institution: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Brief description of the module

The current and increasing demand for energy makes the use of renewable energy sources essential. To fully utilize and integrate the intermittent renewable sources, such as sun or wind, stationary energy storage in peak hours is needed. Among energy storage systems, those based in the conversion of electrical into chemical energy are very versatile. We aim at electrochemical energy storage being cost effective and environmentally sustainable. This requires the development and understanding of new materials and chemistries so new batteries and supercapacitors from earth abundant low cost raw materials can be easily synthesized. In this course we will give an overview of the materials used in Lithium and Sodium ion batteries as well as the main features of the electrode materials used in electric double-layer capacitors or “supercapacitors”. We will show how each of these systems works, its main components as well as some basics about the electrochemical characterization techniques used to study their performance and other characterization techniques used to understand their behavior. The course will have an applied focus with examples of currently used technologies and methodologies.

Topic list

Lithium ion batteries materials

Beyond Lithium: Lithium-air, Lithium-Sulfur, Sodium ion batteries, Magnesium batteries


Experiments to evaluate the electrochemical performance of batteries and capacitors.

Understanding batteries behavior. From ex-situ XRD to in-situ studies.

Reading list

Lithium-Ion Batteries, 1st Edition from Gianfranco Pistoia

Electrochemical Supercapacitors: Scientific Fundamentals and Technological By B. E. Conway. 

Building better batteries,M. Armand & J.-M. Tarascon, Nature 2008