Texas A&M-Led Team Doubles Down on Energy Storage with Novel Metal-Oxide Magnesium Battery

Move over, lithium-ion; now, there’s a better battery on the horizon.

A multi-institution team of scientists led by Texas A&M University chemist Sarbajit Banerjee has discovered an exceptional metal-oxide magnesium battery cathode material, moving researchers one step closer to delivering batteries that promise higher density of energy storage on top of transformative advances in safety, cost and performance in comparison to their ubiquitous lithium-ion (Li-ion) counterparts. Read More on the Texas A&M website

This work was carried out in collaboration with our group. It is published in Chem, a new chemistry-focused journal by Cell Press. One more on Sam’s belt before he left our group. Nice!


Scialog Award goes to our group

Our group is part of a collaborative team that received a Scialog Award in Advanced Energy Storage by the Research Corporation For Science Advancement. The team is also composed of two research groups at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California-Berkeley. The research project is entitled “Defining interfacial reactivity in high capacity Li-ion cathode materials”. Scialog supports research, intensive dialog and community building to address scientific challenges of global significance. Within each multi-year initiative, Scialog Fellows collaborate in high-risk discovery research on untested ideas and communicate their progress in annual closed conferences. A great way to start 2018!


Mapping of crystalline phases by scanning X-ray diffraction microscopy

In close collaboration with scientists at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and NECCES, our group has demonstrated the ability to map crystalline phases in battery single particles subject to different levels of delithiation. The method unconvered the existence of intermediates conventionally considered to be unreachable in ex situ conditions. The article appears in Nano Letters. 3 cheers for Brian, who carried this development through the finish line!


Watch Jordi talk about chemical imaging of batteries

Jordi recently delivered a talk on recent progress in methods X-ray microscopy to image battery reactions, as an Advanced Photon Source Colloquium. If you are interested in an overview of recent work from our group, watch the talk below:


New paper on Mg metal anodes

Sam, who recent left our group to become an Assistant Professor at Pusan National University (S. Korea), led a study of the degradation of Mg anodes when cycled at high current densities in non-aqueous TFSI-based electrolytes. The work has now been published in Langmuir, as part of the Fundamental Interfacial Science for Energy Applications special issue. Nice results, Sam! And best of luck in your new endeavors!


New paper on nanocrystal heterostructures of battery materials

A new article from our group describes a method to synthesize nanocrystals of LiCoO2 and the formation of heterostructures where aluminum substitutes cobalt selectively in outer regions of the crystals. Congratulations, Linhua!


Three new collaborative papers out

Our integrated efforts of collaboration within DOE-funded research centers led to three new papers. A paper from the JCESR team appearing in Chemistry of Materials evaluates the ability of birnessite to act as a cathode in a Zn metal battery. A second paper from JCESR, appearing in Applied Physics Letters, describes a study of the lithiation of V2O5 using in situ TEM. A third paper, this time from NECCES, appearing in Nano Letters identifies fracture between primary particles in a secondary aggregate as the leading source of degradation during the operation of Li-ion battery cathodes with layered structures. Congratulations to Sam, Mark, and Cabana group alumni Young-Sang and Tanghong for their contributions to these reports!


Perspective Article on chemical imaging of battery electrodes

Our group has published a Perspective Article in Chemistry of Materials providing a concise overview of methods of chemical imaging that have been applied to questions in batteries. The article also provides an outlook into the future directions that these methods and future advances will enable. This Perspective is part of the Up-and-Coming series at Chemistry of Materials. A hat tip to Mark and Brian for spearheading this article!


Mario wins Paaren Award

Mario Lopez, an undergraduate researcher in our group, has just been awarded a Paaren Scholarship in Chemistry. The Herbert E. Paaren Scholarships are for outstanding UIC chemistry majors, including BS Biochemistry majors pursuing a career in science. These awards are typically given to students who are among the first generation of their families to go to college. Congratulations, Mario!


All-nighters for Science

A new post on the website of Argonne National Laboratory describing the unusual working hours at a synchrotron facility features Mark and Brian discussing their operando characterization of battery materials. The secret of success is in the choice of soda…