Structures, Devices, and Architectures for Nanoscale Solutions in Electrical Energy Storage

Tuesday, October 13, 2015: 10:30
101-C (Phoenix Convention Center)
G. W. Rubloff (Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage (NEES)) and S. B. Lee (Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage (NEES))
Nano science and technology promise enhancement to batteries and capacitors through higher power at given energy, accompanied by new possibilities for better capacity retention and safety.  Among the challenges to realize this promise are (1) the design of higher performance electrode and electrolyte materials and (2) the rational design of structures in which these materials are arranged.  In Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage (NEES, www.efrc.umd.edu), we have focused on the latter, seeking to understand how the structure of components and the architecture in which they are arranged determine the multifunctionality required for electrical energy storage: ion transport and storage, electron transport, and structural stability during charge/discharge cycling.

Precision multistep synthesis has enabled the creation of heterogeneous nanostructures, involving multiple materials to confer the needed multifunctionality and to understand how design influences electrochemical behavior at the nanoscale and storage performance of nanostructures.   This is illustrated by several such structures which address fundamental phenomena important at the nanoscale and the mesoscale, including: (1) nanowire and nanotube structures with integrated electron transport components that achieve robust Li cycling despite large volume changes; (2) nanopore battery configurations to assess fundamental limits on ion transport in highly confined environments; (3) solid state electrolyte and battery configurations for scaling safe materials to the nanoscale; and (4) 3D nanostructure forests, both regular and pseudo-random, to analyze mesoscale architectures and new scientific challenges emerging at the mesoscale. These experimental advances have been accompanied by significant modeling and simulation insights, from DFT to continuum levels, and at the same time they pose formidable, important challenges for theory, particularly at the mesoscale.

This work has been supported by Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage (NEES), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Award Number DESC0001160.