The solid-electrolyte interface is a critical component in electrochemical energy storage.
The Center for Electrical Energy Storage (CEES) seeks to acquire a fundamental understanding of interfacial phenomena controlling electrochemical processes that will lead to a dramatic improvement in the performance of electrochemical energy storage devices, notably batteries and supercapacitors.
Batteries and electrochemical energy storage are central to any future alternative energy scenario. Future energy generation sources are likely to be intermittent, requiring storage capacity during inactive times. Batteries are the likely long-term storage solution of choice. The growing reliance on lithium batteries will continue for consumer electronics, aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and medical applications in the near term. In the longer term, we will need them for stationary energy storage for uninterrupted power supply units, the electrical grid, and transportation. Of all systems, rechargeable lithium batteries offer the greatest chance for breakthrough opportunities, and in time, these batteries are destined to constitute a “lithium economy.”
Control and understanding of the composition and structure of electrified interfaces, which are core to the CEES mission, are essential to overcoming present-day limitations and providing the fundamental basis for finding breakthrough technologies for the next generation of electrochemical energy storage devices and beyond. Success in this endeavor will allow the design of a new generation of materials that can operate safely at high and low potentials and provide the necessary increases in energy and power to enable an improved fuel economy and the emission benefits of hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
CEES is organized around four individual but strongly interconnected tasks: