PI and CO-I Name(s): Dr. Wei Lai
Lab Name: Lai Lab
MSU Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Award name: CAREER: Structure-property relationships in bi-functional battery materials
Date awarded: 2016
While lithium-ion batteries have been the dominant power sources for portable electronics, their large-scale applications in the transportation and stationary markets are likely to be hindered by the limited lithium abundance. On the other hand, sodium element is more than 1000 times more abundant than lithium and sodium resources are considered adequate nationally and internationally. Development of sodium-based battery chemistry is essential in ensuring a sustainable energy future of humankind. This CAREER project studies the structure-property relationships of a unique family of bi-functional (as either cathode or anode) sodium electrode materials, in order to shed light on the fundamental mechanisms that could lead to enhanced materials performance and rational design and discovery of new materials.
PI’s team has worked together with the MSU Museum on an exhibit on the Science On a Sphere (SOS) system. The name of the exhibit is “Batteries: Powering the Past, Present, and Future.” The goals are to raise awareness and inspire interests of the public in the science and engineering principles of ubiquitous battery devices in our daily lives.