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Prof. Dr. Andrea Balducci

Andrea Balducci
Foto: Annegret Günther / FSU Jena

Prof. Dr. Andrea Balducci

Andrea Balducci received his Degree in Chemistry from the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2001 and his PhD in Materials Science from the Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse (France) in 2006.
In 2007 he did a postdoc at the Graz University of Technology (Austria) and in 2008 he moved to the University of Münster (Germany).
From 2009 till 2014 he was the scientific leader of the supercapacitors group at MEET Battery Research Center of the University of Münster (Germany).
From January 2015 till May 2016 he worked as senior researcher at the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (Germany). Starting from June 2016 he is Professors for "Applied Electrochemistry" at the Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena.

Prof. Balducci is working on the synthesis and characterization of electrolytes and active/inactive materials of interest for electrochemical storage devices, especially supercapacitors and lithium batteries.
He is also very interested in chemical-physical characterization of ionic liquids and in their use in electrochemical storage devices.

A curriculum vitae can be found here.
A list of publications can be found here.

Research interest:

·         Electrochemistry
·         Supercapacitors, lithium batteries and hybrid devices
·         Ionic liquids (synthesis and characterization)
·         Nanostructured materials for high power applications
·         Carbonaceous materials (characterization and application)

The current research projects are supported by the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Selected topics:

New electrolytes for supercapacitors

The development of innovative electrolytes represents one of the keys for the realization of innovative electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLCs).
In the (near) future new solvents, new salt as well as new ionic liquids should be identified and investigated. This search should generate a “new wave” of innovative electrolyte components, able to display a well-balanced set of properties, high safety and reasonable cost. In order to rationalize this search and to identify new potential components in a reasonable timeframe, new tools such as computation screening should be considered. Once these new components will be identified, a systematic investigation of their chemical-physical properties should be carried out. The viscosity, conductivity, electrochemical stability of these electrolytes should be investigated. Furthermore, also the thermal stability and the ion-ion and ion-solvent interaction should be carefully considered. Finally, the interaction between these innovative electrolytes and the active and the inactive materials should be analyzed. As a matter of fact, only considering the interactions of a new electrolyte with all EDLCs components it is possible to understand the advantage and the limits associated to its use.


1.    Balducci, Electrolytes for high voltage electrochemical double layer capacitors: a perspective article, Journal of Power Sources DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.05.029
2.    Schütter, T. Husch, M. Korth, A. Balducci, Toward New Solvents for EDLCs: From Computational Screening to Electrochemical Validation, Journal of Physical Chemistry Part C 119, 13413-13424 (2015)
3.    F. Béguin, V. Presser, A. Balducci, E. Frackowiak, Carbons and Electrolytes for Advanced Supercapacitors, Advanced Materials, 26, 2219-2251 (2014)
4.    Brandt, A. Balducci, Theoretical and practical energy limitations of organic and ionic liquid-based electrolytes for high voltage electrochemical double layer capacitors, Journal of Power Sources, 250, 343-351 (2014)
5.    A. Brandt, P. Isken, A. Lex-Balducci, A. Balducci, Adiponitrile-based electrochemical double layer capacitor, Journal of Power Sources, 204,  213– 219 (2012)

Protic ionic liquids as electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries

Protic ionic liquids (PILs) display all typical and favorable properties of ILs, but they have the advantage of being easier to synthesize and cheaper compared to aprotic ionic liquids. In the last year we showed that dry PILs display conductivity, viscosity and lithium-ion self-diffusion coefficient comparable to those of a their aprotic counterpart (AILs). However, they have the important advantage of displaying an improved performance when used in combination with battery electrodes during tests at high current densities. The lithium ions in PIL-based electrolytes do not move faster than in AIL-based electrolytes according to their self-diffusion coefficients. However, fewer anions form the solvation sphere of Li+ in PILs, leading to a reduced charge-transfer resistance at the electrode-electrolyte interface. Taking into account that the limited performance at high rate of IL-based LIBs is presently considered as one of the main limitations of these devices, the use of PIL-based electrolytes can be regarded as a new and promising strategy to overcome this drawback. Additionally, since PILs are typically cheaper than AILs, the introduction of this innovative electrolyte could also be of importance for the development of safe and cheaper IL-based lithium-ion batteries.

1.             S. Menne, J. Pires, M. Anouti, A. Balducci, Protic ionic liquids as electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries, Electrochemistry Communications, 31, 39-41 (2013)
2.             T. Vogl, S. Menne, R.-S Kühnel, A. Balducci, The beneficial effect of protic ionic liquids on the lithium environment in electrolytes for battery applications, J. Mat. Chem. A, 2 (22), 8258 – 8265 (2014)
3.             S. Menne, T. Vogl, A. Balducci Synthesis and electrochemical characterization of bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide-based protic ionic liquids, ChemComm, 51, 3656-3659 (2015)
4.             T. Vogl, P. Goodrich, J. Jacquemin, S. Passerini, A. Balducci, The Influence of Cation Structure on the Chemical-Physical Properties of Protic Ionic Liquids, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part C, 120, 8525-8533 (2016)
5.             T. Vogl, C. Vaalma, D. Buchholz, M. Secchiaroli, R. Marasis, S. Passerini, A. Balducci, The Use of Protic Ionic Liquids with Cathodes for Sodium-Ion Batteries, Journal of Mat. Chem. A. DOI: 10.1039/C6TA02277D

Nanostructures materials for high power devices

The synthesis of carbon-coated nanoparticles embedded in a micrometer-sized carbon matrix is an effective way to realize materials suitable for high power applications. On the one hand, nanosized materials shorten diffusion pathways for the ions insertion/extraction process. On the other hand, the carbon coatings of active nanoparticles can provide an electron pathway on the nanoscale for individual particles and (partially) restrain surface reactions and volume change upon ions insertion/extraction. Very importantly, the formation of a carbon coating during the synthetic process can also contribute to restrict particle growth and lead to the formation of nanosized particles

In our group we proposed a facile, novel ionic liquid-assisted sol-gel synthesis for lithium vanadium phosphate (LVP). In this synthesis the ionic liquids are used as soft template and carbon source for the synthesis of carbon-coated LVP nanocrystals embedded in a micrometer-sized carbon matrix. We showed that the selection of the IL has a strong impact on the morphology, size and electrochemical performance of LVP. For example, using protic ionic is possible to synthesize nanomaterials with different morphologies compared to the “classical” aprotic ionic liquids.

1.        X. Zhang, N. Böckenfeld, F. Berkemeier, A. Balducci, Ionic-liquid assisted synthesis of nanostructured and carbon-coated Li3V2(PO4)3 for high power electrochemical storage devices, ChemSusChem, 7 (6), 1710-1718 (2014)
2.        X. Zhang, R.-S Kühnel, M. Schroeder, A. Balducci, Revisiting Li3V2(PO4)3 as Anode – An Outstanding Negative Electrode for High Power Energy Storage Devices, J. Mat. Chem. A, 2, (42), 17906 – 17913 (2014)
3.        X. Zhang, R.-S Kühnel, H. Hu, D. Eder, A. Balducci, Going nano with protic ionic liquids – the synthesis of carbon coated Li3V2(PO4)3 nanoparticles encapsulated in a carbon matrix for high power lithium-ion batteries, Nano Energy, 12, 207-214 (2015).


Carbonaceous materials for high power devices

In order to realize carbonaceous materials suitable for electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLCs), the search of appropriate sources of active material appears of importance. As a matter of fact, although the raw materials only make up a small amount of the total costs of carbon production, between 1.3% to 2.9% depending on the used process, the possibility to use of abundant and easily available sources is certainly representing a positive aspect for the overall production process.

Recently we considered the use of agricultural waste as the raw material for the preparation of activated carbon (AC) suitable for EDLCs. This waste is produced on a daily basis and it can be considered as a highly abundant material, which can be fairly cheap in areas with a high concentration of agriculture. Taking into account the fact that large part of this agricultural waste is typically disposed, its use as source for carbonaceous materials could be of interest in view of the realization of sustainable processes. Recently we showed that using this source it is relatively easy to realize activated carbons suitable for EDLCs. The ACs obtained from these materials are microporous and display good specific capacitance in conventional as well as in innovative electrolytes.

1.             C. Ramirez-Castro, C. Schütter, S. Passerini, A. Balducci, Microporous carbonaceous materials prepared from biowaste for supercapacitors application, Electrochimica Acta 206, 452-457 (2016)
2.             C. Schütter, C. Ramirez-Castro, M. Oljaca, S. Passerini, M. Winter, A. Balducci, Activated carbon, carbon blacks and graphene based nanoplatelets as active materials for electrochemical double layer capacitors: a comparative study, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 162 (1) A44-A51 (2015)
3.             C. Ramirez-Castro, C. Schütter, S. Passerini, A. Balducci, On the development of activated carbons with high affinity for high voltage propylene carbonate based electrolytes, Journal of Power Sources 270, 379-385 (2014)
4.             M. Schroeder, S. Menne, J. Ségalini, D. Saurel, M. Casas-Cabanas, S. Passerini, M. Winter, A. Balducci, Considerations about the influence of the structural and electrochemical properties of carbonaceous materials on the behavior of lithium-ion capacitors, Journal of Power Sources, 266, 250-258 (2014)
5.             Krause, P. Kossyrev, M. Oljaca, S. Passerini, M. Winter, A. Balducci, Electrochemical double layer capacitor and lithium-ion capacitor based on carbon black, Journal of Power Sources, 196, 8836– 8842, (2011)