School Seminar: Prof. Clare Grey; Cambridge University
Wednesday, 29 June 14:00pm – 15:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 4 and Online Zoom Please email email@example.com for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Prof. Clare Grey; Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University
Host: Prof. Siggi Schmid
Title: Developing and applying new tools to understand how materials for Li and “beyond-Li” battery technologies function
Abstract: Rechargeable batteries have been an integral part of the portable electronics revolution and are now playing an increasingly important role in transport and grid applications, but the introduction of these devices comes with different sets of challenges. New technologies are being investigated, such as those involving reactions between Li and oxygen/sulfur, using sodium and magnesium ions instead of lithium, or involving the flow of materials in an out of the electrochemical cell (in redox flow batteries). Importantly, fundamental science is key to producing non-incremental advances and to develop new strategies for energy storage and conversion.
This talk will start by very briefly describing existing battery technologies, what some of the current and more long-term challenges are, and touch on strategies to address some of the issues. I will then focus on our own work to develop NMR, MRI and new optical methods that allow devices to be probed while they are operating (i.e., operando), from the local, particle to cell level. This allows transformations of the various cell components to be followed under realistic conditions without having to disassemble and take apart the cell. Many of the battery electrode materials are paramagnetic and their study has involved the development of new experimental (NMR) and theoretical approaches to acquire and interpret spectra. Studies to correlate lithium hyperfine shifts with local structure and to probe dynamics will be described, focussing on studies aimed to understand degradation in NMC-811 (Li[Ni0.8Co0.1Mn0.1]O2) – graphite full cells. Specifically, I will illustrate how variations in lithium transport with degree of lithiation can result in very different lithiation and delithiation mechanisms and even in some cases lead to particle cracking. Finally, new results on redox flow, solid state electrolytes, and extremely high-rate batteries will be outlined.
Biography: Clare P. Grey, FRS, DBE is the Geoffrey-Moorhouse-Gibson and Royal Society Professor of Chemistry at Cambridge University. After receiving a BA and D. Phil. from Oxford University she was a post-doctoral fellow at Nijmegen and at DuPont CR&D. She joined the faculty at Stony Brook University in 1994, moving to Cambridge in 2009, maintaining an adjunct position at Stony Brook. She is currently the director of the EPSRC Centre for Advanced Materials for Integrated Energy Systems (CAM-IES) and a member of the Expert Panel of the Faraday Institution. Recent honours/awards include Honorary PhD Degrees from the Universities of Orleans (2012) and Lancaster (2013), the Royal Society Davy Award (2014), the RSC John Goodenough Award (2019), the Richard R. Ernst Prize in Magnetic Resonance (2020), the RS Hughes Award (2020) for contributions in the field of energy and the (2021) Körber European Science prize. She is a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance. Her current research interests include the use of solid-state NMR and diffraction-based methods to determine structure-function relationships in materials for energy storage (batteries and supercapacitors) and conversion (fuel cells). She is a cofounder of the company Nyobolt, which seeks to develop batteries for fast charge applications.