University of Cambridge > > Kelvin Club - The Scientific Society of Peterhouse, Cambridge > Developing and applying new tools to understand how materials for Li and "beyond-Li" battery technologies function

Developing and applying new tools to understand how materials for Li and "beyond-Li" battery technologies function

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ABSTRACT : Rechargeable batteries have been an integral part of the portable electronics revolution and are now playing an increasingly important role in transport and grid applications, but the introduction of these devices comes with different sets of challenges. New technologies are being investigated, such as those involving reactions between Li and oxygen/sulfur, using sodium and magnesium ions instead of lithium, or involving the flow of materials in an out of the electrochemical cell (in redox flow batteries). Importantly, fundamental science is key to producing non-incremental advances and to develop new strategies for energy storage and conversion.

This talk will start by describing existing battery technologies, what some of the current and more long-term challenges are, and touch on strategies to address some of the issues. I will then focus on our own work to develop NMR , MRI and X-ray diffraction methods that allow devices to be probed while they are operating (i.e., operando). This allows transformations of the various cell components to be followed under realistic conditions without having to disassemble and take apart the cell. We can detect side reactions involving the electrolyte and the electrode materials, sorption processes at the electrolyte-electrode interface, and processes that occur during extremely fast charging and discharging. Many of the battery electrode materials are paramagnetic and their study has involved the development of new experimental (NMR) and theoretical approaches to acquire and interpret spectra. Recent studies aimed at understanding degradation in NMC -811 (Li[Ni0.8Co0.1Mn0.1]O2) – graphite full cells will described. Finally, new results on redox flow batteries, extremely high-rate batteries and novel NMR approaches to study interfaces will be described.


COVID -19 POLICY : We kindly ask attendees to test negative for COVID -19 by lateral flow the day of the event and to not attend the event if they have any symptoms of COVID -19. In addition, we strongly encourage attendees to have completed their full course of COVID -19 vaccines prior to the event. Please wear a face covering whilst not eating or drinking.

This talk is part of the Kelvin Club - The Scientific Society of Peterhouse, Cambridge series.

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