Mike wins the Chancellor’s Student Service Award!

Mike Plews has been awarded a Chancellor’s Student Service Award for his many and valuable contributions to safety in the Department of Chemistry at UIC. Congratulations, Mike!

New article on multivalent electrochemistry

In a new paper in Chemistry of Materials, we present the results of a study of the electrochemical behavior of Mg0.5Mn2.5O4 nanocrystals in view of a possible redox intercalation of multivalent ions. We report the complexity of the transitions using a variety of techniques with different insight. Take a look! The work is a large team effort within JCESR, led by a large representation of our group, with Gene, Bob Jin and alumni Abdullah, Chunjoong, Ryan, Tanghong, Sam and Young-Sang. Well done!

Catching a Battery in the Act

The Winter 2018 Frontiers in Energy Research Newsletter, published by the Department of Energy, has an article showcasing how lithium-ion battery operation is revealed in real time by scientists at NECCES. The article includes references to our imaging work, with contributions by Mark.

We overview interfacial aspects of Li-ion battery cathodes

In a new article in Accounts of Chemical Research, Jordi, Bob Jin and Linhua provide their perspective on current knowledge of reactions at interfaces involving oxide cathodes and electrolytes in high energy Li-ion batteries, and recent strategies of passivation. They hope the community agrees!

Can Zn and Ca ions be intercalated into Mn spinels?

This is the question our group, led by Gene, tries to answer in a new paper in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Spoiler alert: so far, the prospects do not look very hot. The paper exemplifies our team approach to important scientific topics. 8 current and former members of the group were involved, including 2 undergraduate students. Good work, everyone!

Mapping nanoscale chemical reactions inside batteries in 3-D

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new technique that lets them pinpoint the location of chemical reactions happening inside lithium-ion batteries in three dimensions at the nanoscale level. Their results are published in the journal Nature Communications. Read More on the UIC website

This work was led by our group alumnus, Young-Sang Yu, and is the fruit of our longstanding collaboration with imaging scientists at the Advanced Light Source. Hooray for Young-Sang!

New paper with NECCES collaborators

Our participation in NECCES continues to produce insightful fruits. Our approach to use crystals with controlled morphologies as platforms for detailed studies was leveraged to reveal facet reconstruction on NCA, a popular Li-ion battery cathode for high energy applications. The work relies on transmission electron microscopy by our fellow NECCESers at Binghamton University. The manuscript appears in Chemistry of Materials. Brian shows in it that he is not just skilled at X-ray microscopy, but also skillful with wet chemistry. An unusual combination!

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!