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Apr 2, 2016 3:27 EDT


iCrowdNewswire - Apr 2, 2016




Energy storage devices play an important role in our lives, providing power to portable devices, vehicular applications, and large-scale storage of energy generated from renewable sources. This project is designed to investigate new materials for lithium-ion and the next generation sodium-ion batteries as candidates for vehicular and large-scale energy storage applications. We will design and synthesize new materials that show superior electrochemical performance. The development and analysis of these innovative materials will increase our understanding of the lithium and sodium insertion/extraction reactions taking place within batteries. This work may allow researchers and industry to find the develop higher power, longer lasting and safer batteries to meet the demands of future applications.


Lithium-ion batteries

One of the major factors that limit lithium-ion batteries is safety, with conventional liquid electrolytes a major cause of battery failures1. Our research involves replacing these liquid electrolytes with solid-state equivalents we effectively overcome the safety issues. Unfortunately, they have their own set of issues which we are attempting to solve2. This includes ionic conductivity and interfacial strains. The ultimate idea here is a robust and extremely safe lithium-ion battery.

Sodium-ion batteries

Currently, lithium-ion battery research dominates over sodium-ion battery research, but recent awareness of the limitations associated with lithium-ion technology such as limited lithium resources, cost pressures and safety have led to a re-emergence of sodium-ion battery research3,4. Indeed, high temperature (>300°C) sodium battery technology has found selective use in certain applications5. In practice due to the differences in size and ionisation potential between sodium and lithium various other factors become critical to the battery performance, including but not limited to ionic conductivity, transport of sodium, ease (energy required) of extraction and insertion and the weight of the battery3. This research is designed to understand what happens during sodium insertion and extraction and use this information to show how practical issues can be overcome. Essentially if sodium-ion batteries can be made using aqueous or solid-state electrolytes operating at ambient temperatures as well as providing a relatively high energy density with cheap components they will find widespread use in large-scale energy storage applications.



Physics Chemistry



Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours Class 1), The University of Sydney, 2002-2005. Ph.D. in Chemistry, The University of Sydney, 2006-2009. Postdoctoral researcher, The Bragg Institute, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation 2009-2012. Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Research Fellowship and appointed Lecturer in Chemistry, UNSW, 2012. Solid state and Materials Chemistry Energy-related devices such as batteries and fuel cells are essential in our lives. In order to develop the next generation of technologies we need more power, or better performance, at a lower environmental cost. Research into understanding the interplay between the crystal structure of new materials and their physical properties will allow us to revolutionise how we obtain and store energy. My research approach encompasses exploratory synthesis, structural determination, physical property measurements and in situ structure and property characterisation of batteries and other devices.




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