Nickel/cobalt-free battery chemistries

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - 3:00pm

Speaker:  Feng Lin, Virginia Tech

Program Description:

The battery technology has impacted nearly every human being on this planet. Batteries can be used to store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind, making renewable energy practically more feasible. Batteries are also essential for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. To date, however, most lithium-ion batteries use nickel and cobalt as the redox active elements. With the surge of electric vehicles in recent years, the use of nickel and cobalt raw materials has ramped up and will continue to increase in the future. Nickel and cobalt are not cheap and have caused major supply chain concerns. Reducing or eliminating the use of nickel and cobalt represents a grand challenge towards developing low-cost, sustainable, safe, and high energy batteries. In this presentation, we will first discuss our recent progress in eliminating the use of cobalt in lithium-ion batteries. We investigate the electrochemical properties of cobalt-free layered cathodes in various platforms, from conventional polycrystalline materials to size-tailored single crystals. Then, we will highlight a new class of nickel/cobalt-free cathode materials with dual transition metal redox. As an immediate alternative to lithium-ion batteries, the sodium ion chemistry has notably gained momentum for some applications. Thus, we will close the presentation by showcasing our recent studies in sodium ion batteries. Throughout the presentation, we will demonstrate how our battery research has been accelerated by fundamental investigations using synchrotron X-ray analytical techniques.

Dr. Feng Lin is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech. He is also an affiliated faculty of Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech. Dr. Lin holds bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Tianjin University (2009), and Ph.D. degree in Materials Science from Colorado School of Mines (2012) with joint research at National Renewable Energy Lab. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 2016, Dr. Lin worked at QuantumScape Corporation as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff, and at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Lin’s awards and recognitions include SLAC Spicer Young Investigator, Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Journal of Materials Chemistry Emerging Investigator, RCSA Scialog Fellow, ACS-PRF Doctoral New Investigator, Energy Storage Materials Young Scientist Award, National Science Foundation CAREER award, John C. Schug Faculty Research Award, and many Scientific Highlights by national laboratories. The year 2021 marks the 10-year anniversary of his involvement with synchrotron experiments at SLAC.

Nickel/cobalt-free battery chemistries
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