Koenig, Jr, Gary M
Materials for energy storage, electrochemistry, composite materials, nanomaterials, colloid and interface science, complex fluids, soft materials
Currently, energy storage is a major challenge for a variety of applications. Batteries with higher energy density, better safety, and lower cost will be needed to continue the deployment of vehicles in the transportation sector that rely on electrical energy to drive their motors. In addition, energy storage is needed to provide energy for intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar when weather conditions limit energy generation. Improving battery performance will require new innovations in battery materials, chemistries, and architectures.
Our research investigates the design of new materials and materials chemistries. This research involves the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of materials properties using a variety of techniques. The primary area of application that we focus on is rechargeable battery electrode materials.
We are interested in the tailored synthesis of new materials at multiple length scales. At the molecular scale, the physical properties of materials are largely dependent on the stoichiometry and stable structures that can be formed. In addition, nano-scale topographies and geometries can dramatically influence material performance. We investigate hierarchical approaches to simultaneously design materials at the molecular, nanometer, and micrometer length scales. In applications such as lithium-ion battery electrodes, the active materials must be assembled as particles within a composite matrix. We are investigating general strategies to control the interactions between particles to form ordered assemblies. We then determine the relationships between the structure of these ordered assemblies and the physical and electronic properties of the composites they form.