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ProfessorDept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Materials Science ProgramUniversity of Colorado-BoulderBoulder, CO
Electrochemical energy storage is an enabling technology as humanity transitions to a carbon neutral economy. While Li-ion batteries are presently the dominate technology, a diversity of energy storage needs demands a diversity of storage technologies. My research group is focused on helping to enable these various types of batteries through an understanding of their operation and degradation modes, using several operando X-ray based methodologies coupled to electrochemistry. In this talk I will discuss several vignettes related to our research including (i) showing the Na storage mechanisms and heterogeneous nanopore filling in hard-carbon anodes for Na-ion batteries, (ii) establishing X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS) as a method of quantifying ion and electrolyte velocities in polymer solid-state electrolytes, (iii) determining that the degradation pathways in Li-ion batteries under extreme fast charging involved predominately heterogenous Li-metal plating in full cells. One focus of our research is on quantification of competing electrochemical processes as a way to guide implementation of methods to improve battery systems.