United States Department of Energy to Establish Frontier Research Center at Stony Brook University
SBU Professor, Clare P. Grey, brings together team of world experts on lithium ion as a renewable energy source
STONY BROOK, NY, April 30, 2009 – Stony Brook University will be home to the new Northeastern Chemical Energy Storage Center (NOCESC), which involves a team of experimentalists and theorists including Director, Clare P. Grey, Associate Director of The Center for Environmental Molecular Science and Peter Khalifah, Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Stony Brook University; Jason Graetz and Xiao-Qing Yang of Brookhaven National Laboratory; and additional collaborators from Rutgers University, Binghamton University, MIT, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Michigan, Argonne National Laboratory, and University of Florida.
|Clare P. Grey|
Professor Grey brought together the team of world experts to attack a series of key fundamental research issues that directly impact the ability to use lithium ion batteries in a wider range of applications – particularly in combination with new renewable energy sources and in the field of transportation. At Stony Brook, in addition to synthesizing new materials, the teams proposes to develop new diagnostic tools to determine how batteries function and why they sometimes fail, so as to use this information to help design the next generation of lithium ion batteries.
“I am very excited by the opportunity to bring together a team of world experts at Stony Brook, Brookhaven National Laboratory and other leading US institutions to attack a series of key fundamental research issues that directly impact our ability to use lithium ion batteries in a wider range of applications — particularly in combination with new renewable energy sources and in the field of transportation,” said Grey, who is leading the project. “At Stony Brook, in addition to synthesizing and testing new materials we propose to develop new diagnostic tools to determine how batteries function and why they sometimes fail, so as to use this information to help design the next generation of lithium ion batteries.”
|Figure 1. A schematic of the lithium ion rechargeable battery, that is currently being used in numerous portable applications including lap-tops, cell-phones – and is being developed for use in hybrid and plug-ion hybrid electric vehicles.|
The design of the next generation of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) (Figure 1) requires both the development of new chemistries and an in-depth fundamental understanding of the physical and chemical processes that occur in these complex systems. The specific goals of this new center are to develop a fundamental understanding of how electrode reactions in LIBs occur, and how they can be tailored by appropriate electrode design (doping, particle size, shape, composite structure, etc.), so as to identify the critical structural and physical properties that are vital to improving battery performance. The results from the joint experimental and theory program will be used to help design the next generation of battery materials. The center will also develop new experimental probes of structure and function that will be of use to the entire battery community. An emphasis will be placed on the development ofin situ methods (Figure 2) that use multiple experimental tools simultaneously or that combine imaging with spectroscopy, so as to understand how batteries function over multiple time and length scales.
“This award is a great example of the world-class energy research that is being conducted at Stony Brook University,” said Dr. Shirley Kenny, Stony Brook University President. “Clare Grey is an outstanding scientist; she is to be congratulated for her successful efforts in collaborating with colleagues from other institutions in this critical area.”
|Figure 2. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods are used by the Stony Brook research team and their coworkers, to follow the movement and local environments surrounding the lithium ions in lithium-ion batteries in real time, as the battery is cycled. For example, the figure shows the 7Li NMR spectra of a working lithium ion battery containing the extremely high capacity electrode material silicon. As the battery is discharged and the lithium ions react with the silicon electrode, NMR spectroscopy reveals that a series of small silicon clusters are formed, which gradually break apart as the reaction proceeds. A highly reactive lithum silicide is formed at the end of discharge, as indicated by the red circle.|
Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on more than 1,400 acres. In the 50 years since its founding, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 24,000 students and 2,100 faculty, and is recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and ranks among the top 100 national universities in America and among the top 50 public national universities in the country according to the 2008 U.S. News & World Report survey. Considered one of the “flagship” campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University is a driving force of the Long Island economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs. Stony Brook accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.
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