Watch members of our group do Chemistry demos!

The Chemistry Graduate Student Association (CGSA) at UIC recently hosted 200 second graders from CICS Loomis Primary School. Members of the CGSA and other chemistry graduate students volunteered to perform chemistry demonstrations for these kids with the goal of sparking their interest in science. Find the pictures of the event here. You will recognize some faces from our group (yes, the Human Torch is in our team!).

New papers out

A new paper published by our group in Journal of Materials Chemistry describes the effects of different types of atomic defects in LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4, a material of interest in high voltage batteries. This work was primarily carried out during the Berkeley chapter of our group, so kudos to Chunjoong Kim, former group member, for a fine piece of work!

In addition, 3 new papers are out resulting from the vigorous collaborations our group has with other teams worldwide. They deal with topics in magnesium and lithium/sulfur batteries, as well as the fundamentals of cation transport in solids.

Farewell to team members

3 members recently left our group to search new endeavors:

  • Ryan Bayliss recently accepted a Researcher position at the University of Oxford.
  • Jenine Krakra completed her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and is now musing her next adventure.
  • Abdullah Adil decided it was time to finally show he is actually more interested in medicine than batteries and will become an undergraduate researcher in the West Campus of UIC this Fall.

We wish them all the best and hope for reunions in the future!

Jenine wins poster award

Bihgha Jenine Krakra, one of the undergraduate researchers in our group, recently won an award for her poster presentation at the Iota Sigma Pi Undergraduate Research Symposium held at Lewis University. Jenine presented her results on synthesizing lithium manganese fluorides with different structures and compositions. Congratulations on a great job, Jenine!

Undergraduate Student Updates

Jannie Bolotnikov and Jenine Krakra, both from the Honors College at UIC, have joined our group this Fall to carry out research projects. Welcome, Jenine and Jannie!

Mohammed Aslam, who joined the group last Spring, has been awarded a Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Award. Congratulations, Mohammed!

Abdullah Adil, who has been in the group since Summer 2014, has been awarded a Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Initiative (LASURI) Award. Congratulations, Abdullah!

Size Affects the Ability of Intercalation Electrodes to Withstand Strain

A new article published in Nano Letters by our group shows the direct visualization by x-ray ptychography of correlations between chemical phase and mechanical changes in LiFePO4 plates of  a range of particle sizes, upon partial delithiation. It establishes mechanics as a primary driver in the superior performance of nanoscale cathode particles, which did not fracture as a result of the reaction. Young-Sang worked his X-ray imaging magic once again, with the help of Chunjoong, now a former member of the Cabana group, and in close partnership with researchers at the Advanced Light Source. Bravo, Young-Sang and Chunjoong!

Cabana group welcomes Brazilian visitors

The Cabana group will host 3 undergraduate students during the Summer for a research internship. Natalia Lima, Wanderlino de Sousa and Regis Ari de Geus are funded by the Brazilian government to spend one year of study abroad, including research. Welcome to the team, Natalia, Wanderlino and Regis!

Collaboration leads to paper on operando chemical imaging

Jordi and Young-Sang are contributors in a new paper in Nature Communications reporting operando X-ray imaging of the electrochemical conversion of FeF3 by Li. The work is led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. More information can be found in the UW-Madison press release. Good job, everyone!

Beyond the lithium ion – a significant step toward a better performing battery

The Cabana group has reported, in a new article in Advanced Materials, conclusive evidence that Mg ions can be electrochemically intercalated into spinel oxide hosts, in a reversible manner. This behavior turns these oxides into possible electrode materials in the next generation of batteries using divalent Mg ions as charge carriers, as opposed to single valent Li. The increase in the number of charges, combined with the high operating potential of spinel oxides, would lead to batteries that surpass the energy density capabilities of current Li-ion technology. More details can be found in the following UIC press release.
Congratulations, Ryan (current group member), Chunjoong and Tanghong (former members) for an exciting finding!

Article in Advanced Energy Materials leverages imaging to observe nonequilibrium transitions

In a new article appearing in Advanced Energy Materials, we present the development of an operando X-ray spectromicroscopy setup to image electrochemical phase transformations in a single LiMn2O4 crystal. The study revealed the existence of nonequilibrium pathways due to bottlenecks imposed by carrier transport. Young-Sang led the effort and conducted the experiments. Congratulations, Young-Sang!