Introduction to Lithium-ion Batteries

Short Course at ECS meetings

Battery technology is a broad field that continues to grow rapidly and has become an interdisciplinary topic of interest for many. This course provides a broad introduction to battery technology, useful for those developing new materials, performing full-cell lifetime/safety testing, or developing multi-cell “pack”-level systems (e.g., thermal management and BMS). A general, basic foundation of the relevant electrochemical theory, materials characterization methods, etc., is reviewed and the latest trends and advances in the field presented. The course is suitable for new graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the natural sciences or engineering who are interested in expanding their knowledge of lithium-ion batteries.

The course begins by covering the basic principles of lithium-ion battery operation and then provides a survey of the types and variations of batteries. Methods and advances in battery prediction, including cell lifetime and safety, are then reviewed. The course concludes with modern applications of lithium-ion batteries and a discussion of emerging trends in the field such as solid state and sodium-based batteries, as well as recycling and sustainability.

Topics covered
  • Energy storage and lithium-ion batteries
    • Overview of energy storage technologies
    • Historical background and evolution of lithium battery technology
  • Basic principles of lithium-ion battery operation
    • Structure and components of a lithium battery
    • Lithium-ion chemistry and working principles
    • Key parameters: Voltage, capacity, energy density, and cycle life
  • Types and variations of lithium-ion batteries
    • Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and their subtypes
      i.e., Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) and lithium polymer (LiPo)
    • Anodes: Silicon and lithium metal batteries
  • Battery lifetime – predictability and limitations
    • Degradation processes of materials and electrolytes
    • Safety considerations and measures
    • Environmental impact and recycling challenges
  • Applications of lithium-ion batteries
    • Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)
    • Renewable energy storage systems: solar and wind applications
    • Aerospace and defense applications
  • Emerging trends and future developments
    • Solid state lithium batteries
    • Sodium-ion batteries
    • Fast charging and high-power applications
    • Recycling and sustainability initiatives
About the instructors

Chockkalingam (Chock) Karuppaiah is Founder and CEO of Vetri Labs, an electrochemical consulting firm. He has a joint role at Ohmium International as Chief  Technology Officer where he spearheads their electrolyzer technology for the generation of green hydrogen. His technical work includes the development of polymer electrolyte fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, and flow batteries. Dr. Karuppaiah has more than 25 years of electrochemical experience in the energy and technology sectors. He received a BSc in Electrochemical Engineering from the Central Electrochemical Research Institute in 1993 and PhD in Electrochemistry and Fuel Cells from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1997. Prior to founding Vetri Labs, Dr. Karuppaiah was Vice President of Stack Engineering at Bloom Energy (2010-2019), where he led the product design, process development, and manufacturing scale-up of seven product generations. He worked as a Professor at Case Western Reserve University and Fundamentals Team Manager at Plug Power. He has authored 29 patents in the area of electrochemical technology and devices.

David HallDavid Hall is an Associate Professor in Battery Technology at the University of Stavanger. His research focuses on fundamentals and applications of interfacial electrochemistry for sustainable energy storage. Dr. Hall’s scientific interests are especially related to improving understanding of physico-chemical processes at electrode-electrolyte interfaces. He received his PhD in electrochemistry in 2014 at the University of Ottawa and the National Research Council of Canada, after obtaining a BSc in Chemistry at Western University. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University, where he researched electrolyte additives for lithium-ion batteries. He then joined the Nuclear Waste Management Organization as a Corrosion Scientist and Project Manager. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Dalhousie University in 2017, he studied characterization methods, electrolytes for fast charging, and additive synthesis for lithium-ion batteries. Dr. Hall moved to the University of Cambridge in 2019, where he was a Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry and the Joint Project Lead for the Faraday Institution Degradation Project, a British research consortium studying lithium-ion battery lifetime. Before joining the University of Stavanger faculty in 2023, he was a By-Fellow and Director of Studies in Natural Sciences at Hughes Hall, one of Cambridge’s constituent colleges.