Research Highlights

Understanding storage sites to increase lithium anode capacity

Reversible and irreversible binding sites have been identified in nitrogen containing carbonaceous lithium ion anode materials.  This achievement will direct the search for new carbon-nitrogen materials for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors to focus on materials which exclude...

World's Thinnest Proton Channel

Graphene is a single-atom thin 2-dimensional array of carbon atoms that represents a barrier that is impenetrable even to protons unless graphene membrane has macroscopic holes.

But now, a FIRST EFRC team combined the latest synthesis, computational, microscopy, and laser...

A Bi-Functional Electrolyte Design for Long Lasting Batteries

An innovative design of a bi-functional electrolyte defies the theoretical maximum energy capacity of conventional lithium carbon fluoride (Li-CFx) batteries. This novel design has the potential of enabling the creation of long lasting batteries for implantable medical...

Artificial SEI Enables High-Voltage Lithium-ion Batteries

An artificial solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) of lithium phosphorus oxynitride (Lipon) enables the use of 5V cathode materials with conventional carbonate electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries. Five volt cathode materials, such as LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4, are...

Air-Stable, High-Conduction Solid Electrolytes for Electrical Energy Storage

A substituted Li4SnS4 solid electrolyte has been designed and demonstrated to have excellent air stability and exceptionally high ionic conductivity.  This discovery opens the possibility for the design of new batteries that are safer and have higher energy...

A High-Energy Solid State Battery with an Extremely Long Cycle Life

A high-voltage (5V) solid state battery has been demonstrated to have an extremely long cycle life of over 10,000 cycles. For a given size of battery, the energy stored in a battery is proportional to its voltage. Conventional lithium-ion batteries use organic liquid electrolytes that...

Light-emitting diodes from monolayer WSe2 p-n junctions

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) with improved efficiency have been realized using monolayers of WSe2 carefully cleaved from high-quality bulk single crystals. This new development has the potential for applications in  novel optoelectronic devices, such as on-chip lasers. The...

Superionic cathode enables high-energy lithium-sulfur batteries

A family of new lithium polysulfidophosphate (LPSP) compounds is shown to enable stable cycling of all-solid-state lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries with long lifespans.  Li-S batteries have a high theoretical energy density of 2600 Wh/kg, which is about 5 times higher than that of the...

Epitaxial oxygen sponges as low temperature catalysts

Fast and reversible redox reactions at considerably reduced temperatures are achieved by epitaxial stabilization of multivalent transition metal oxides. This illustrates the unprecedented potential of complex oxides for oxide-ionics, where oxidation state changes are used for energy...

Cooperative Growth of Large Single-Crystal Graphene Islands

Researchers showed that it is possible to grow large, single-crystal graphene islands by controlling the nucleation density, which determines the growth mechanism. Controlling the synthesis of large, single-crystal grains of graphene and other two-dimensional materials is crucial for...

Local structures ? key to improved gas adsorption in carbon materials

Combined results from electron microscopy, neutron scattering, and theory, illustrate the link between local structures and adsorption properties in carbon materials.  The achieved understanding at the atomic scale is a crucial step towards predicting and designing materials with...

Enhanced ionic conductivity in nanostructured solid electrolytes

A nanoporous structure enhances the ionic conductivity of the solid electrolyte lithium thiophosphate by a factor of 1000 over its bulk value. Solid electrolytes may enable a much safer design of batteries by replacing the highly flammable liquid electrolytes in current technologies,...

Atom Substitution Gives Stable Performance of Solid Electrolytes

The substitution of Ge for As in Li3AsS4 results in an exceptionally stable ionic conductivity versus temperature, and enhances the ionic conductivity by two orders of magnitude. The performance of solid state batteries is dramatically sensitive to temperature due...

Hydration of NaxCoO2 yields proximity to ferromagnetism and triplet superconductivity

Hydrated sodium cobalt oxide was shown to be near a ferromagnetic quantum critical point implying that the superconductivity exhibited is of triplet nature. This was possible by performing transport and magnetic measurements of susceptibility and scattering on highly perfect single...

Fluid-like electrophoretic behavior observed in a solid crystal

The position of coexisting mesoscale electronic phase domains in a complex oxide is shown to be controlled with electric fields in an electrophoretic process previously only observed in liquids. This discovery has important implications to our fundamental understanding of how...

Origin of anomalous atomic vibrations in efficient thermoelectrics revealed

Thermoelectric SnTe and PbTe compounds were investigated with inelastic neutron scattering (INS) and first-principles calculations to understand the basis of their anharmonic lattice dynamics. The phonon anharmonicity of these materials is of both fundamental importance and of...

Using neutrons to probe and understand battery interfaces

Neutron reflectometry at the Spallation Neutron Source has revealed the composition and growth characteristics of the spontaneous chemical reaction layer formed between a silicon battery anode and an organic electrolyte that ultimately limits the capacity of the battery. We determined...

Review Finds Ionization Can Heal or Harm Materials

An invited review on latest advances in ion beam modification of materials provides conclusive evidence that energy loss by energetic ions to electrons (ionization) can lead to either self-healing of radiation damage created by atomic collisions or contribute to radiation damage....

New Composite Electrolyte for Advanced Solid State Batteries Shows that Two is Better than One

A new composite electrolyte for batteries with high conduction has been made by combining two solid electrolytes with complementary properties. The composite optimizes the favorable properties of the individual components while minimizing their limitations and opens the door for the...

Topotactic valence state control in epitaxial multivalent oxides

Valence state control is demonstrated in a multivalent transition metal oxide (TMO) by topotactic transformation, i.e. the change of crystal structure via loss or gain of constituent elements. As the dynamic change of the valence state in TMOs plays an essential role in the performance...

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