High-throughput processing and surface modification of functional porous polyolefin separators for Na-ion batteries



Scientific disciplines

Materials Science and Engineering

Research direction

Applied Physico-chemistry and Mechanics

Affiliate site


Under the European Green Deal, the demand for advanced secondary batteries is a pressing challenge. Critical for the impending energy transition, these batteries are instrumental for advancing the electric vehicle market, a linchpin for EU industrial and economic expansions. The search for high energy density, low-cost and safe batteries intensifies as Europe aims for carbon neutrality by 2050. The European Marie Curie Doctoral Network RIDERS (HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN-01-01, TRaining In cutting-eDge battERy technologieS: high-performance materials and researchers) for future electrochemical storage aims to revolutionise battery technology and accelerate Europe’s pace to a sustainable future by establishing an outstanding research and training programme in advanced materials and electrochemical storage. With a comprehensive approach spanning the entire battery production chain, RIDERS brings together 10 academic institutions and 8 industry partners across 7 European countries.
This PhD project aims at developing up-scalable synthesis of functional polyolefins by reactive extrusion and subsequent biaxial stretching process to obtain porous separators. After screening relevant formulations using an internal mixer (ca. 40g scale) and characterization of thermomechanical properties (DSC, linear and elongational rheology) materials with optimal characteristics will be up-scaled using twin screw extrusion (L/D = 68, 3-5 kg/h) in order to produce quantities (20 kg) sufficient to perform simultaneous biaxial stretching using a pilot processing line. Surface functionalization of commercial porous separators should also be considered by the PhD candidate. The separators need to be characterized by porosimetry, electron microscopy, contact angle goniometry and gas permeation measurements to assess the Gurley number. The effective ionic transport properties will be analysed by EIS and the best performing separators will be implemented in Na-ion coin and pouch cells and compared to benchmarked commercial polyolefin porous separators.

Keywords: functional polyolefins, Na-ion batteries

  • Academic supervisor    Pr Eric DROCKENMULLER, IMP - UMR CNRS 5223, ORCID : 0000-0003-0575-279X
  • Doctoral School    ED 34 MATÉRIAUX LYON 
  • IFPEN supervisor    Dr Mona Marie OBADIA, ORCID : 0000-0001-7613-3342
  • PhD location    IFPEN, Lyon, France
  • Duration and start date    3 years, starting in the fourth quarter 2024 
  • Employer : IFPEN 
  • Gross salary : 2930 €/month + 425 €/month mobility allowance
  • Academic requirements    Polymer chemist candidate with solid background on the synthesis, processing and/or physical characterization of polymer materials or polymer electrolytes. Additional experience in electrochemistry or in electrochemical storage technologies are not mandatory but would be most suited.
  • Language requirements    English level B2 (CEFR), "French level A2 (CECR), Willingness to learn French
  • Other requirements    Not having resided in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the start date of the thesis, and not having carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France during this period.

To apply, please go to the website www.riders-dn.eu 

Encadrant IFPEN :
Dr Mona Marie OBADIA