The severity of the world energy shortage demands far more efficient ways to store energy, particularly from renewable sources like solar and wind. With capability for storing much more energy, delivering higher power, and recharging faster, next-generation electrical energy storage (EES) systems will enable new, green solutions to energy storage in smaller, lighter packages.
We believe that nanostructures are the key to next-generation EES. By creating structures at the nanoscale, we can design and exploit the energy storage capacity of optimized nanomaterials while also combining different materials in geometries that speed up movement of charge (electrons and ions) to and from the storage nanomaterials.
Science is Needed
Understanding how to fabricate such nanostructures and make them perform well poses profound new challenges, from the design and construction of nanomaterials as multicomponent structures for rapid charge transfer to the stability of the structures as charge is cycled in and out.
The Energy Frontier Research Center for Science of Precision Multifunctional Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage (NEES) will develop the fundamental science required for creating predictable, regular arrays of nanostructures, optimizing their materials and understanding their charge transfer behavior at the nanoscale, and optimizing the design of multifunctional EES nanostructures. The Center's advances will underpin a nano-enabled next-generation EES technology.
Multifunctional Nanostructures for Fast Ion Transport
- Develop oxide nanostructures for high-energy cathodes
- Enable graphitic carbon for accelerated energy transport
- Synthesize nanoscale oxide-carbon heterostructures
- Understand electrochemistry at nanowire surfaces and defects
Nanoscience of Electrochemical Interfaces & Atomic Scale Mechanics and Kinetics in Heterogeneous Nanostructures
- Understand electrochemical dynamics by scanning probe microscopy
- Utilize nanoprobe imaging and chemical spectroscopy of surface models for elecrochemical systems
- Develop a density functional theory for lithium transport in nanoscale heterostructures
- Understand the stimulus-response of heterogeneous nanostructures by electrochemical transmission electron microscopy
- Utilize mechanical and optical MEMS sensing of nanostructure response to actuation and cycling
- Develop multilayer hetero-nanostructures for all-solid-state-storage