Combinatorial Synthesis and High Throughput Screening of Solid State Materials and Devices for the Energy Sector

Abstract: Combinatorial synthesis and high-throughput screening methods for the discovery and optimization of solid-state materials and catalysts have their routes in the pharmaceutical industry, but were slower to develop for solid-state systems because of the difficulties of reliably synthesizing such materials, and the challenges in developing fast and reliable screening methods. There have been several approaches taken centred on combinatorial thin film synthesis of materials, however a step change in the development of new functional materials has taken place with the introduction of combinatorial evaporative PVD (ePVD) synthesis. The advantages of this synthetic approach, which provides a low kinetic barrier to compound formation, the direct synthesis of amorphous materials and of complex ion compounds, the control of elemental components (including lithium), and the synthesis of supported nano-particles will be emphasized. Strategies for “on-chip” screening, materialscharacterization and integrated informatics with the goal of understanding the function/composition/structure relationship will be exemplified.

Results will be presented in a program to develop reversible oxygen (ORR/OER) electrocatalysts for fuel cells. Solid solution substitution of the A or B site in a perovskite results in the optimisation of oxygen reduction or oxygen evolution at the extreme composition limits. We also show, however, that mixed valent structures in the ternary composition space of LaMnO3 based perovskites can result in single site electrocatalysis converging towards the equilibrium potential. The single reaction site created for reversible electrocatalysis is shown to correlate with the appearance of the Mn3+/Mn4+ surface redox couple. The results highlight a general strategy for optimising oxide electro-catalysts for reversible ORR/OER activity. 

A high throughput strategy for the development of solid-state Li+ ion batteries will also be presented. This includes the development and optimisation of the solidstate electrolytes and mixed conductors, interfacial modifications and half-cell and full cell screening methods. Results will be presented for the complex ion Li+ ion conductors LIPON and lithium borosilicate which can also be controllably synthesized with ePVD. Theresults of these optimisations to the development of a new generation of micro-batteries for the IoT will be briefly included.


Brief Introduction of Speaker
Brian E. Hayden

obtained his PhD in Bristol in 1979 in Surface Science, and continued this work as a postdoctoral fellow for 5 years at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin. Appointed lecturer at the University of Bath he developed supersonic molecular beam techniques to study reaction dynamics at single crystal metal surfaces. He was appointed lecturer at the University of Southampton in 1988, working in the fields of surface science, catalysis and electro-catalysis, and was appointed to a Personal Chair in 1995. In 2000, he extended thin film MBE based methodologies to the combinatorial synthesis and screening of solid state materials and catalysts. He is a founder (2004), an executive director and Chief Scientific Officer of Ilika plc (AIM 2010 in the Guardian/Library House Clean Tech 100), a £50M spin-out company involved in materials discovery and development for the electronics and energy sectors, and with strong partnerships with multinational corporations in these sectors. He recently founded and directs the Advanced Composite Materials Laboratory at the University of Southampton, extending materials development into new areas of application, and their incorporation into devices, by applying evaporative PVD methods in a 150mm wafer based cluster production tool. His present research interests include the continued development of fuel cell electrocatalysts, materials in solid state lithium ion batteries, phase change and resistive memory materials, thermoelectric and optoelectronic materials, metamaterials and tunable dielectric materials, and 2-D electronic materials. He is author of over 150 refereed papers {h-index 39} and over 30 active patent families including new catalysts and materials for low temperature fuel cells and solid state Li-ion batteries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Fellow of the Institute of Physics.