Ability for reversible incorporation of significant amount of lithium into crystal structures of transition metal compounds of MaXb-type (M- transition metal; X = O, S), one or more moles per mole of MaXb at room temperature, is widely used as a method of energy storage by exploiting energy of chemical bonds of d electrons, being of the order of several eV/atom, which effectively yields energy storage capability as much as quite a few kWh/kg.

Lithium ion batteries are currently the most important electric energy storage devices for handheld, automotive applications as well as for energy storage in the renewable energy systems. The technology of reversible Li-ion batteries is still under intense development.

Pioneering on country- and worldwide scale research, performed by author, on the electronic aspect of lithium intercalation in transition metal compounds, revealed that the electronic structure plays major role in it. The author’s electronic model of intercalation process enables to predict and tailor useful properties of electrode materials based on designing their electronic structure. As a result of the proposed project, we have a chance to “put the last touch” in the area of designing of the cathode materials for Li-ion batteries, as far optimizing their most important parameters (energy and current density) and their safety (chemical stability).

The proposed project has deeply cognitive and interdisciplinary aspect joining chemistry, solid state physics, materials engineering and solid state electrochemistry. It concerns determination of relationship between the nature of chemical bonding, crystal and electronic structure and the effectiveness of electrochemical processes and reactivity of solids. Revealing this relation will create a new tool for designing functional properties of materials for Li-ion batteries and for other material technologies.

Despite significance of this issue for many modern material technologies, especially for power engineering, it remains a “blank spot” in materials science.