To know the project and activities better, we present a series of interviews with our project partners in which they will provide insights in their personal motivations and their experiences and tasks in the project.
This interview takes place with Jonas Welch from Uppsala University
What was your original motivation to become a researcher? What is your research area today?
I knew already as a master student that I wanted to work with either batteries or solar cells. After 4 years in solar cell R&D, I jumped back to battery research to do a PhD, which I do presently. My focus is on the electrolyte – anode pair. Improving on liquid electrolytes, preferably non-flammable, non-fluorinated and non-toxic, and also working on the next generation of electrolytes such as the polymer-based. Anode-free concepts are also part of my research.
What do you like the best about your work?
To be able to work on solutions to the dilemma of how to provide plenty of energy for a prosperous society but at the same time stopping global warming. Also, the cooperation among researchers is a nice part of work.
How did you get involved in SIMBA and what is your main task/activity?
As a PhD funded by SIMBA, I get to collaborate with the other SIMBA partners with developing the next generation of sodium-ion batteries. Specifically, I will evaluate cells based on the novel polymer electrolyte under development with regards to interfacial reactions at the anode. I also work with IP research related to the SIMBA inventions.
Why is your company ideal for the research/activities in SIMBA?
Uppsala University strive to increase the knowledge about sodium ion and sodium metal batteries, and would therefore like to contribute to the SIMBA research.
What impact do you think the SIMBA technology will have?
Hopefully, the manufacturing of larger prototype cells and the integration of a polymer electrolyte will advance the technology readiness level of sodium batteries one step closer to commercial adoption.