Neil has been selected by the University of Michigan College of Engineering for designation as a Miller Faculty Scholar. Faculty Scholar is an honorary title awarded to a small group of the most accomplished assistant and associate professors in the College of Engineering. [news article]
Our paper “Electro-Chemo-Mechanical Evolution of Sulfide Solid Electrolyte/Li Metal Interfaces: Operando Analysis and ALD Interlayer Effects” is published in Journal of Materials Chemistry A. We utilize a multi-modal suite of operando methods to study effects of artifical SEI layers deposited by ALD on LGPS solid electrolytes. The study highlights the critical role of mechanical properties on the dynamic evolution of the interphase(s) present. [link]
Our new paper “Li Penetration in Ceramic Solid Electrolytes: Operando Microscopy Analysis of Morphology, Propagation, and Reversibility” is published in Matter. We demonstrate 1) Multiple morphologies of Li penetration are observed; 2) The Li within these structures can be reversibly cycled; 3) The most common Li filaments propagate by a mechanical crack-opening mechanism; 4) The dynamic evolution of filament morphology can be correlated to voltage signatures. [link]
Our paper “Plan-View Operando Video Microscopy of Li metal Anodes: Identifying the Coupled Relationships among Nucleation, Morphology, and Reversibility” is published in ACS Energy Letters. The results provide mechanistic insight into the influence of surface spatial heterogeneity on nucleation and growth behavior and suggest that dead Li formation is influenced more by nucleation than by growth. [link]
Our joint perspective article entitled “Challenges in Lithium Metal Anodes for Solid-State Batteries” is published in ACS Energy Letters. In this collaborative article, we describe recent progress in Li metal-solid electrolyte interfaces, and highlight challenges ranging from an improved understanding of filament growth, chemo-mechanical evolution of interfaces, and operando analysis at a range of length and time scales. [link]
Neil gave an invited talk at the 2020 Batteries Gordon Research Conference (GRC), and was elected as one of the conference co-chairs for the next Batteries GRC meeting. [ME highlight]
Neil gave an invited talk in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University. Thanks Prof. Steve Martin for the invitation!
Eric Kazyak successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation, entitled “Operando Visualization and Interfacial Engineering of Li Metal Anodes”. Congratulations Dr. Kazyak!
Our new paper “Enhanced Interfacial Toughness of Thermoplastic-Epoxy Interfaces using ALD Surface Treatments” is published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. In this paper, we demonstrate that ALD coatings on chemically-inert polymers (Teflon, PMMA) can significantly enhance adhesion to epoxy, which is linked to tuning surface energy of the polymer. Double-Cantilever Beam (DCB) measurements of interfacial toughness against epoxy demonstrate an increase by up to 60x after ALD. [link]
Our new paper “Elucidating the Evolving Atomic Structure in Atomic Layer Deposition Reactions with In Situ XANES and Machine Learning” is published in Chemistry of Materials. In this paper, we perform in situ synchrotron x-ray absorption analysis of ALD reactions in the initial cycles. Wee introduce a new platform for high-throughput screening of thousands of possible atomic configurations in first-principles models to fit the XANES spectra, demonstrating a synergistic approach that leverages machine learning techniques for atomic-scale modeling of surface chemistry. [link]