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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 11, 2018

Fundamental principles of battery design

  • Matthias Zschornak EMAIL logo , Falk Meutzner , Jessica Lück , Arnulf Latz , Tilmann Leisegang , Juliane Hanzig , Melanie Nentwich , Jens Zosel and Perla B. Balbuena
From the journal Physical Sciences Reviews


With an increasing diversity of electrical energy sources, in particular with respect to the pool of renewable energies, and a growing complexity of electrical energy usage, the need for storage solutions to counterbalance the discrepancy of demand and offer is inevitable. In principle, a battery seems to be a simple device since it just requires three basic components – two electrodes and an electrolyte – in contact with each other. However, only the control of the interplay of these components as well as their dynamics, in particular the chemical reactions, can yield a high-performance system. Moreover, specific aspects such as production costs, weight, material composition and morphology, material criticality, and production conditions, among many others, need to be fulfilled at the same time. They present some of the countless challenges, which make battery design a long-lasting, effortful task. This chapter gives an introduction to the fundamental concepts of batteries. The principles are exemplified for the basic Daniell cell followed by a review of Nernst equation, electrified interface reactions, and ionic transport. The focus is addressed to crystalline materials. A comprehensive discussion of crystal chemical and crystal physical peculiarities reflects favourable and unfavourable local structural aspects from a crystallographic view as well as considerations with respect to electronic structure and bonding. A brief classification of battery types concludes the chapter.


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Published Online: 2018-08-11

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