Next Generation Energy Storage Using Unconventional Materials

Researchers invovled in Project T06-Z01 are pursuing advanced battery materials on numerous fronts.  Silicon and germanium are recognized as being among the most promising anode materials for Li-ion batteries because of their high theoretical speciļ¬c capacity (as high as ~4200 mAh/g) but challenges remain including: low electrical conductivity, large volume changes during lithiation/delithiation. Important lingering questions include: what roles do well-defined size, surface chemistry, morphology (e.g., nanoparticles and nanosheets), and host matrix (e.g., silicon nanosheet or graphene aerogels, Li+ transporting conductive polymers, etc.) play in device performance? Our team is evaluating these parameters, as well as designing new hybrids that, among other things, could offer “self-healing” based upon directed, reversible self-assembly.