The Technology Development group is dedicated to developing advanced cathodes, anodes, electrolytes, and additives for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. The group is also working extensively to develop materials and systems beyond lithium ion, such as lithium sulfur, lithium selenium, lithium air, lithium superoxide closed system, ASSB, and sodium ion. We combine capabilities in advanced materials synthesis, electrochemical testing & characterization to solve energy storage problems and develop new energy storage materials. We maintain strong connections with industry, U.S. national labs, and the academic research community, which allow us to maintain a leadership role in developing next-generation materials and systems for electrochemical energy storage. We contribute to several Department of Energy programs in many areas of energy storage, mainly transportation related. We also support Department of Defense programs by developing high energy, safe batteries for their use.
The key focus areas of this group include the following:
Development of Next-Generation Lithium-Ion Full Cells: Our focus is to understand the combinations of cell components that can be assembled to create high-energy-density lithium-ion batteries. We are focused on
- Synthesis of Ni-rich cathodes, performance optimization using various coatings, and development of a cathode with FCG within each single particle.
- Development of lithium and sodium anode materials based on phosphorus as the active species that exhibit high capacity and high first-cycle Coulombic efficiency, composite silicon-graphene based anode materials, lithium metal systems, and Li4Ti5O12-based (LTO) technology. The LTO systems are being investigated as a component of full cells for fast charging applications.
- Identification of liquid electrolyte systems built from new solvents, salts, and functional additives that stabilize the active interfaces between the electrodes and electrolytes.
Beyond Lithium-Ion Technologies: The aim of this research is to enable high energy density, high efficiency, and high reversibility of beyond-lithium-ion technologies by means of extensive computer modeling and use of advanced characterization techniques.
- Hybrid Li-ion / Li-air (Li-O2) systems: Development of electrochemical processes in mixed electrode well-defined systems.
- Lithium superoxide (LiO2) battery: Exploration of a new battery concept using a lithium-oxygen conversion reaction in a closed system by means of extensive computer modeling and use of advanced characterization techniques to guide this effort.
- Na-ion, Na-air, K-ion, K-air battery systems: Development of novel cathode and anode materials for energy storage applications.
- Li-S and Li/Se-S battery systems: Development of rational carbon hosts and electrolytes for shuttle-free and dendrite-free batteries.
- Solid-state Electrolytes: Investigation of the role of sintering in solid-state oxide electrolyte systems and development of hybrid solid polymer electrolytes.