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…

Novel chemical imaging technique reported

Our collaboration with scientists at the Advanced Light Source continues to prove fruitful. They developed a novel technique of ptychographic chemical imaging based on phase contrast, and used LixFePO4 samples to prove the concept. The paper is available in Applied Physics Letters, and credits contributions by Young-Sang, one of our alumni.

Intercalation chemistry of fluoride perovskites

A new paper from our group appearing in Chemistry of Materials discusses the ability of perovskite-type KFeF3 to undergo redox intercalation reactions. A combination of tools revealed the possibility of reversible removal of K, followed by intercalation of Li and Na. This work was pushed forward by one of our alumni, Tanghong, with support from Mike. Well done, Tanghong and Mike!

New paper on multivalent hybrid supercapacitors

Sam spearheaded a new article in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces on the design of hybrid energy storage devices combining a multivalent metal, such as Mg or Zn, and a carbon electrode, in a multivalent electrolyte. The resulting rocking-chair supercapacitor overcomes some of the issues with energy density of conventional supercapacitors, which operate through the depletion of the electrolyte salt. Nice job, Sam!

Article selected as ACS Editor’s Choice

A new article by Chunjoong and Young-Sang, Cabana group Alumni, has been selected as Editor’s Choice by the The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The article employs optical and X-ray microscopy to visualize the propagation of electrochemically-reacted domains in a battery electrode without any conductive additives.  Additive-free electrodes present opportunities to increase the energy density of a battery, as well as constitute valuable model systems to increase our understanding of the kinetics of electrochemical reactions in solids.  Under ACS Editors’ Choice, the article is sponsored for immediate, free open access by ACS due to its potential for broad public interest, an honor given to only one article from the entire ACS portfolio each day of the year.

Congratulations, Chunjoong and Young-Sang!

Gene wins UIC Award

Gene Nolis was just awarded the UIC Provost’s Award for Graduate Research. This competitive award financially supports research by graduate students at UIC. Congratulations, Gene!!!

“High-Occupancy” Vehicle (HOV) Battery

The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research has selected our work on Mg2+ intercalation into Mn2O4 for highlight of recent developments in the website of the Office of Science of the Department of Energy. The highlight can be found here.