Special Issue "A Themed Issue in Honor of Professor Michel Armand on the Occasion of His 75th Birthday"

A special issue of Inorganics (ISSN 2304-6740).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Christian Julien
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Guest Editor
Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et Cosmologie (IMPMC), Sorbonne Université, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris, France
Interests: energy storage and conversion; solid state ionics; nanomaterials; nanoionics; lithium batteries; energy materials; insertion reactions; solid electrolytes; vibrational spectrocopy; thin films
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Alain Mauger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie (IMPMC), CNRS, Sorbonne University, UMR 7590, 4 Pl Jussieu, F-75252 Paris, France
Interests: materials science; energy storage and conversion; Li-ion batteries; Na-ion batteries

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is to celebrate the outstanding career of one of the most world-renowned experts in electrochemistry, Dr Michel Armand, on the occasion of his 75th anniversary. He is the father of many advances that led to the development of lithium-ion batteries, now considered a solution to switch from oil to green energy and limit global warning. Armand is at the origin of the concept: in the 1970s, Armand proposed the fabrication of a battery based on two different intercalation materials for both cathodes and anodes; this battery was named the rocking-chair battery (later the lithium-ion battery) due to the shuttle of ions from one electrode to another during the charge–discharge process. Then, he made major contributions to the three components of the batteries: the two electrodes and the electrolyte.

First, in collaboration with Duclot, he demonstrated in the late seventies the suitability of graphite as an intercalated negative electrode. He is thus the father of this negative electrode used in commercial Li-ion batteries today. Then, in the early eighties, Armand pioneered the development of a polymer electrolyte based on polyethylene oxide-lithium salts (PEO:Li), at the origin of the all-solid-state lithium batteries that fed Bolloré's Buecars® and Bluebuses®, and considered a promising battery of the next generation. In 1991, Armand’s group reported a novel salt: lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI), now used in a new class of single-ion solid polymer and solvent-in-salt electrolytes, all results offering evidence that Armand played and is still playing a major role in the development of lithium-ion batteries.

Let us go back, however, to the seventies, when efforts were devoted to the search for materials able to intercalate lithium without destroying the crystalline structure to build positive electrodes. Armand et al. demonstrated that Prussian-blue materials, such as iron cyanide bronzes M0.5Fe(CN)3 fulfilled the purpose. Armand also pioneered the use of several inorganic materials and transition metal oxides and described the first solid-state battery using β-alumina as a solid electrolyte. In 1997, John Goodenough proposed LiFePO4; however, this material is insulating—a problem that needed to be solved prior to practical application. The solution was found by Armand’s group, by coating the LiFePO4 nanoparticles with a thin layer of conducting carbon, and in 2020, the global lithium iron phosphate battery market size exceeded US$ 5.20 billion.

This short introduction only aims to testify to the impact of the work that marked the career of Armand in electrochemistry, to celebrate his 75th birthday. This is of course incomplete, not only because Michel Armand never stops, but also because he is the co-author of more than 500 publications and many patents.

Contributions in this Special Issue will outline recent developments related to the chemistries of lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries, including cathode and anode materials, organic electrodes, solid-state electrolytes, solid polymers, and solvent-in-salt electrolytes and other chemistries, such as Li-S and Li-air batteries.

We are pleased to invite you to submit a manuscript to this Special Issue; regular articles, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Christian Julien
Prof. Dr. Alain Mauger
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Inorganics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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In Situ and In Operando Techniques to Study Li-Ion and Solid-State Batteries: Micro to Atomic Level
Inorganics 2021, 9(11), 85; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/inorganics9110085 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2021
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This work summarizes the most commonly used in situ techniques for the study of Li-ion batteries from the micro to the atomic level. In situ analysis has attracted a great deal of interest owing to its ability to provide a wide range of [...] Read more.
This work summarizes the most commonly used in situ techniques for the study of Li-ion batteries from the micro to the atomic level. In situ analysis has attracted a great deal of interest owing to its ability to provide a wide range of information about the cycling behavior of batteries from the beginning until the end of cycling. The in situ techniques that are covered are: X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM). An optimized setup is required to be able to use any of these in situ techniques in battery applications. Depending on the type of data required, the available setup, and the type of battery, more than one of these techniques might be needed. This study organizes these techniques from the micro to the atomic level, and shows the types of data that can be obtained using these techniques, their advantages and their challenges, and possible strategies for overcoming these challenges. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Compatibility of the lithium metal anode with liquid electrolytes
Authors: C. Julien; A. Mauger
Affiliation: Institut de Minéralogie, Physique des Matériaux et Cosmologie (IMPMC) Sorbonne-Université, 4 Place Jussieu, 75005, Paris, France
Abstract: Lithium is a most attractive anode element with its high specific capacity (3860 mAh g–1) and low reduction potential (−3.04 V vs standard hydrogen electrode). However, the very high reactivity of lithium metal provokes side-reactions with liquid electrolytes, which causes safety problems. In addition, the propensity of lithium to form dendrites upon cycling is responsible for short-circuits of the lithium battery. That is why lithium anode are presently used with solid electrolytes, which have a Young’s modulus strong enough to postpone the growth of dendrites. Despite their superior ionic conductivity, the liquid electrolytes are thus used at the commercial level only in lithium-ion batteries, in which the anode is graphite, or more recently silicon-graphite. However, important progress has been made since few years to make compatible the use of liquid electrolytes with the lithium anode. The aim of this work is to report the state-of-the-art of such lithium batteries with liquid electrolytes. We review the different strategies used to optimize the electrochemical performance, including in-situ and artificial solid-electrolyte interface (SEI), choice of solvent and lithium salts, surface modification of the lithium foil, anchoring Li on 3D current collectors, fabrication of gradient skeletons.

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