Andrew Davis and Robin Rodríguez both successfully defended their Ph.D. thesis exams in Mechanical Engineering this summer. Congrats to Dr. Davis and Dr. Rodríguez!
Our new paper “Tunable Atomic Layer Deposition into Ultra-High-Aspect-Ratio (>60000:1) Aerogel Monoliths Enabled by Transport Modeling” is published in Chem. Mater. We demonstrate tunable control of the ALD infiltration depth into an aerogel monolith and develop a reaction-diffusion model to accurately describe the coating process. The model allows for co-optimization of the total deposition time and percentage of unreacted precursor, which are important for the manufacturability and sustainability of ALD processing. [link]
Our joint Perspective article with the Sakamoto group at UM was recently published in Joule, entitled “Transitioning solid-state batteries from lab to market: Linking electro-chemo-mechanics with practical considerations”. In this perspective, we consulted with three major automotive manufacturers to identify key challenges in commercialization of solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, including manufacturing, cell design, and mechanical challenges. [article] [UM news highlight]
Our paper “Operando Analysis of the Molten Li|LLZO Interface: Understanding How the Physical Properties of Li Affect the Critical Current Density” is published in Matter. We show that solid-state batteries (SSBs) using high-temperature (molten) Li metal anodes can withstand extremely high current densities of 530 mA/cm2, which is an order-of-magnitude higher than achievable with solid Li. Using a combination of optical and electron microscopy, we probe the failure mechanisms of molten Li metal anodes. These results highlight the critical role of the mechanical properties of Li metal on SSB interfaces. [link]
Ph.D. student Adrian Sanchez and Neil Dasgupta were awarded the 2021 Mechanical Engineering Robert M. Caddell Memorial Award for Research. This award is granted to a Faculty/Grad Student team that have jointly made significant contributions to research in materials and/or manufacturing.
Our paper “Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition of p-type Copper Oxide Semiconductors with Tunable Phase, Oxidation State, and Morphology” is published in Journal of Physical Chemistry C. We demonstrate a new PE-ALD process for CuOx films using a combination of oxygen and hydrogen plasma. This enables tuning of oxidation state in Cu, which is analyzed by synchrotron XANES measurements. p-type TFTs are fabricated, showing an on-off ration of 105. [link]
Dr. Manoj Jangjid and Dr. Srinivas Yadavalli join the group as postdocs. Welcome!
Congratulations to our Ph.D. students Clare Lanaghan and Daniel Liao, who were both awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships!
Postdoc Eric Kazyak is a recipient of the 2020 Ereztech BridgeForward Award, a a financial award program recognizing gifted graduate students and recent post-doctoral graduates pursuing careers in organometallic chemistry and materials science. Congrats Eric! [link]
We published two new papers on our battery research in December! The first paper, published in Chem. Commun. introduces a new process to form an inorganic-organic hybrid solid electrolyte by Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD), which is an organic analog to ALD. The films are well-behaved as solid electrolytes, with an ionic conductivity of ~5×10-8 S/cm, and a transference number of ~1. The second paper, published in Adv. Energy Mater. demonstrates a scalable pathway to overcome energy/power density tradeoffs in Li-ion batteries by blending graphite and hard carbon active materials in the anode. This eliminates Li plating, and improves the homogeneity of the reaction through the anode volume, enabling efficient fast-charging at 6C rates.