Energy, Nanomechanics, and Surfaces Research Laboratory

Main Research Areas

Photographer: Lee Thomas
(Photographer: Lee Thomas)

Recent Battery research accomplishments

1. Battery Materials

  • Models for diffusion-induced stresses in electrodes
  • Self-healing electrodes based on liquid metals
  • Electrochemically stable coatings for high capacity and long durability silicon electrodes
  • Nafion- and crosslinked polyborosiloxane polymer-based binders for silicon electrodes
  • Lignin/Si and lignin/SiOx composite electrodes for improved performance and durability
  • Zr-modified LiNi0.8Co0.1Mn0.1O2 positive electrode materials
  • Li-ion transport in lithium zirconate and garnet-type Li7La3Zr2O12
  • In situ techniques for measuring mechanical properties of battery materials in controlled environment

2. Battery Manufacturing

  • A dry powder coating process for making electrodes without using toxic organic solvents
  • Plasma-based electrode manufacturing methods
  • A green solvent to replace toxic and expansive organic solvent

Support from NSF, DOE, National Labs, USDA, and Industries

  • “Powering the Kentucky Bio–economy for a Sustainable Future - Pillar 3 Electrochemical Energy Storage,”  National Science Foundation
  • “In-situ Diagnostics of Coupled Electrochemical-Mechanical Properties of Solid Electrolyte Interphases on Lithium Metal for Rechargeable Batteries,” Department of Energy
  • “A Combined Experimental and Modeling Approach for the Design of High Current Efficiency Silicon Electrodes,” Department of Energy
  • “Investigation of Mechanical Properties of Intermetallic Li-ion Anodes,” National Renewable Energy Lab.
  • “Using Mixing Science to Improve Battery Quality,” Ford Motor Company
  • “Demonstration of Novel Process to Produce Nickel-rich NMC Cathodes for Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries,” Department of Energy SBIR Program (subcontract)
  • “Lignin-Silicon Electrode Material From High-Lignin Content Endocarp Biomass,” USDA
  • “Fundamental Understanding of Dynamic Interfacial Phenomena in Solid State Batteries,” DOE
  • “Electrochemical Energy Storage for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles,” Mercedes (gift)
  • “Advanced cathode materials and coatings for lithium ion batteries,” PIDC
  • “Thick Cathode Fabrication Using a Dry Process,” General Motors
  • “Collaborative research to advance solid state ion conductors for emerging batteries,” Sandia National Labs