Electrocoordination chemistry of s-block elements
in organic media for future batteries


About our project

Batteries are one of the key enabling technologies for the transition to a climate-neutral society by 2050. However, the incumbent lithium-ion-battery technology is reaching its limits in terms of performance metrics and cost reduction, while also depending on several critical raw materials. These limitations fuel the development of future battery types, including Metal-Anode Batteries (MABs) based on monovalent or divalent, earth-abundant cations. ECOBAT’s objective is to provide new knowledge and materials to build, test and compare the performance metrics of different s-block elements in MABs and identify the common elements governing the bulk, interface and solvation properties of s-block MABs. More specifically, ECOBAT aims to understand the effect of the solvent and salt anion on reversible metal deposition and metal-ion intercalation in MABs using a single type of cathode materials. The relationship between the first coordination sphere and the electrochemical properties of the metal ions in organic media will be ultimately established. ECOBAT unites 5 experts in the domain of high-performance organic cathodes, efficient metal anode utilization, advanced electrolytes, combining both experimental and computational theoretical chemistry approaches. Comprising two ERC Grantees, the team will trigger new scientific findings on the electro-coordination chemistry of s-block elements, paving the way for next-generation batteries based on earth-abundant elements.


EOS-ECOBAT Project Consortium


The ECOBAT team is recruiting 4 researchers


Phd1 (KU Leuven): Solid electrolyte interphases inpost-Li-ion batteries

Supervisors: Prof. Jan FRANSAER (KU Leuven) & Prof.Alex Vlad (UCL)

Duration: 4 years

Required profile: MSc in Electrochemical Engineering


Phd2 (UNAMUR): Multiscale theoretical chemistrymethods for optimising redox properties of organiccathodes: from the building blocks to the crystal state

Supervisors: Prof. Benoit CHAMPAGNE (UNAMUR) &Prof. Alex VLAD (UCL)

Duration: 4 years


Phd3 (UNAMUR): Title: Unravelling spectroscopicsignatures (XPS, IR, Raman) of SEIs of increasingcomplexity using theoretical chemistry methods

Supervisors: Prof. Benoit CHAMPAGNE (UNAMUR) &Prof. Barbara KIRCHNER (UBONN)

Duration: 4 years


Postdoc 1 (UNAMUR): Title: Towards describing thegrowth & evolution of the SEI by employing multi-scalecomputational chemistry methods: where Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics meets embedding techniques

Supervisors: Prof. Benoit CHAMPAGNE (UNAMUR)

Duration: 2 years

Join our Team


We offer either a 4-year PhD or a 2-year postdoc position, fully funded.

The ECOBAT partners, KU Leuven, UCL, UNAMUR & UBONN, seek to foster an environment where all talents canflourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality, or impairments.

OUR Students

Our PhD students

Student No. 1

PhD tite: “Thermodynamics of solvation/desolvation of s-block element salts in non-aqueous solvents”.

Student No. 4

PhD title: “Multi-scale theoretical chemistry methods for optimizing the redox properties of organic cathodes: from the building blocks to the crystal state”.

Student No. 2

PhD title: “Solid electrolyte interphases in post-Li-ion batteries”.

Student No. 5

PhD title: “Unravelling the spectroscopic signatures (XPS, IR, Raman) of SEIs of increasing complexity by using theoretical chemistry methods”.

Student No. 3

PhD title: “Novel conjugated sulfonamide redox centers and coordination polymers for monovalent and divalent cation storage”.

Student No. 6

PhD title: “Towards describing the growth and evolution of the SEI by employing multi-scale computational chemistry methods: where Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics meets embedding techniques”


This project (EOS number: 40007515) has received funding from the FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS under the Excellence of Science (EOS) programme

FWO WebsiteFNRS Website