Welcoming Co-investigators of New Research Areas

As part of the research project reshaping announced 5th September 2023 and as part of its ongoing efforts to drive impact in energy storage research, the Faraday Institution issued an open call for short, costed proposals for new research topics with tightly defined scopes that complement its core research projects.  

The response to the call for proposals was highly competitive, with a total of 40 submissions received. After a rigorous evaluation process, the following co-investigators have been successfully awarded new research topics: 

CATMAT – cathode materials 

  • Yang Xu of University College London will join the Faraday Institution research community to lead a work area to investigate novel methods of synthesis of cathode active materials that incorporate sustainability and green chemistry principals. 

FutureCat – cathode materials 

  • Lee Johnson of the University of Nottingham aims to develop new candidate electrolyte systems with enhanced high voltage cycling performance that are consistent with use with the next generation cathode materials being developed by FutureCat.  
  • Philip Chater of Diamond Light Source will use X-ray diffraction computed tomography to analyse approaches to enhance the lifetime of lithium-ion cathode materials using routes such as morphological control, complex doping strategies and single crystal morphologies. 
  • Louis Piper of WMG, University of Warwick, will explore the use of atomic layer deposition coating of Al2O3 on the doped lithium nickel oxide (LNO) cathode material developed by FutureCat as a way to improve electrode longevity. 

Diamond Light Source and the University of Nottingham are both new FutureCat consortium partners. 

Nextrode – electrode manufacturing 

  • Stephen Duncan, University of Oxford, will investigate whether one or more stages in the electrode fabrication process could be brought within closed loop process control, where process variables could be altered in real time to control key properties and improve battery performance.  
  • Chun (Ann) Huang, Imperial College London joins the project to further develop and optimise novel dry, binderless, electrode processing technology and equipment.  

NEXGENNA – sodium-ion batteries 

  • Magda Titirici of Imperial College London will lead a work area on the sustainable synthesis of high-performance biomass-derived hard carbons for use as negative electrodes and probe mechanisms of sodium storage in the materials.  
  • Emma Kendrick of University of Birmingham will investigate the performance and scale up of positive electrode materials that are emerging from NEXGENNA, encompassing cell design considerations and using low-cost synthesis methods. 

These two new work areas with come together to demonstrate the new materials in prototype cells of several ampere-hours using the pilot pouch cell line at St Andrews. Birmingham is a new consortium partner for NEXGENNA.  

These new research areas have been integrated into the structure of the relevant main project.  

Posted on September 5, 2023 in Blog

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About the Author

Sophia Constantinou is a science communicator with a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh. She was a Faraday Institution undergraduate intern in 2020 and won an award for the infographics and podcast she created to explain lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

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