Batteries are everywhere. From personal electronics to automobiles to grid-scale energy storage, the ability to store energy in a compact form has become a vital part of society. The current state of the art batteries are lithium-ion, where two intercalation (in which Li+ ions are incorporated into a layered structure) electrodes with different potentials act as host materials, and a liquid electrolyte allows the Li ions to shuttle back and forth while the battery is charging or discharging. This technology has limited energy density due to the inactive intercalation scaffolds, and also pose safety risks due to the flammability of the liquid electrolytes. Next-generation battery technologies including lithium metal, solid-state batteries, lithium-air, and lithium-sulfur all have significant challenges with stability and undesirable reactions. Our work in this area focuses on the use of ALD to modify key interfaces and reactions in order to prevent deleterious processes, extend life, and enable practical application of these technologies which could increase performance over existing options by a factor of 10 or more in terms of energy density.
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