M. Stanley Whittingham The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019

Better ways to store energy are critical to becoming more energy efficient. One of the keys to advances in energy storage lies in both finding novel materials and in understanding how current and new materials function. The NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES) is an effort being led by Binghamton University, and includes as partners Rutgers University , Argonne National Laboratory, Cambridge University, MIT, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of California at San Diego. The Center supports basic research in the design of the next generation of lithium-ion batteries (LiBs), which requires both the development of new chemistries and the fundamental understanding of the physical and chemical processes that occur in these complex systems.

The mission of the Center is to develop an understanding of how key electrode reactions occur, and how they can be controlled to improve electrochemical performance, from the atomistic level to the macroscopic level through the life-time of the operating battery. Three thrust areas have been established in order to achieve the Center's goals: intercalation materials, transport in mesoscale systems and one cross-cutting on characterization.

Research Plan

The processes that occur in batteries are complex, spanning a wide range of time and length scale. The team of experimentalists and theorists will make the use of, and develop new methodologies to determine how model compound electrodes function in real time, as batteries are cycled.

The Four-year Goals of the Center are:

  • Close the gap between the theoretical and practical energy density for intercalation compounds.
  • Attain reversible multi-electron transfer in a cathode material using lithium.
  • Understand performance limiting transport in positive electrode structures from the local through the meso to the macroscale.
  • Enable new chemistries involving electrode systems that were previously considered intractable for use in batteries.

These goals will be achieved by dividing our research efforts into three closely connected and integrated thrusts: a theory effort is integrated into thrusts 1 and 2.

Thrust 1:

Intercalation Materials Chemistry. This thrust will identify the key parameters that are required to optimize intercalation reactions in the active material in the electrodes.

Thrust 2:

Electrode Transport - Establishing the Local-Meso-Macro Scale Continuum. This thrust will establish a comprehensive understanding of the ionic and electronic transport in model electrode materials and establish a direct link to electrochemical performance through the correlation of physical phenomena in the increasingly complex hierarchy of a model battery electrode.

Thrust 3:

Cross-Cutting Diagnostics: Developing the characterization and diagnostic tools to investigate battery function. This thrust will involve the development of novel in- and ex-situ experimental approaches aimed at probing electrical energy storage (EES) materials at three levels: atom, single crystal/particle, and across the electrode hetero structure.

Any opinions, finding, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do no necessary reflect the views of NY Empire State Development or NYSERDA.

Partner Institutions

This website is based on research funded primarily by the EFRC program of the US Department of Energy (DOE), under Award Number DE-SC0012583, with additional support provided by the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), and New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of DoE, NYSTAR, or NYSERDA.