First 18 months

Primary goals of Hi-C:

  • Understand the important interfaces in an operating battery on an atomic and molecular scale.
  • Characterize the formation and nature of interfaces in situ.      
  • Devise methods to control and design interface formation, stability and properties.  
  • Prepare ion-conducting membranes, mimetic of the polymeric part of the SEI, in order to study their mechanical and electrochemical properties. 

The Hi-C consortium addresses the scientific challenges that are limiting power density, storage capacity, safety, lifetime and state of health of electrochemical storage devices such as lithium-ion batteries, conversion batteries and supercapacitors.


A number of advanced experimental and computational methods will be developed and applied to well-known battery chemistries such as LiFePO4 and Li(Ni1/3Mn1/3Co1/3)O2 vs. graphite electrode materials used in lithium-ion batteries. The results will be used for increasing the stability of silicon as negative electrode material and of positive electrode materials such as LiFeBO3 and LiVO2F. In operando cell monitoring will be developed for batteries and supercapacitors.


Achievements: During the first 18 months of the Hi-C project the focus has been on developing the tools and methods for the project. 

  • Materials specification, selection, preparation, characterization and distribution to partners. 
  • Developing processes for preparation of silicon nanowires.      
  • Synthesis method for high-performance LiFeBO3.      
  • Synthesis and characterization of LiVO2F as a new cathode material.  
  • High resolution synchrotron powder diffraction characterization of LiFeBO3 and LiFePO4.  
  • Development of capillary-based in situ battery cells for in situ studies.      
  • In situ high resolution powder diffraction studies of LFP and LFB batteries. 
  • In situ diffraction studies of conversion batteries.      
  • TEM and EELS studies of partially delithiated LFP samples.  
  • TERS (Tip enhanced Raman spectroscopy) instrument installed.  
  • SECM (Scanning electrochemical microscopy).      
  • Targeted SEI formation by additives and characterization by XPS.      
  • Formation of SEI mimetic membranes.      
  • Sensor monitoring strategy and set-up for in operando monitoring.  
  • Testing heat flux sensors for in operando monitoring.      
  • Computational study of overpotentials across interfaces in LiFeBO3 
  • 1-Dimensional FEM (Finite element method) models for supercapacitor and SEI developed.  
  • DFT calculations of ionic transport, pathways and barriers in LixBO3.      
  • Fabrication and charge/discharge tests of NMC/C-based coin cells.  
  • Studies of additive effect by gas analysis using NMC/C pouch cells.  
  • Development of a sealed cell for in situ SECM. 

See the newsletter for more detailed results. 


One patent, three journal papers, one book chapter, 11 posters and 22 presentations.