Professor: Andrej Singer
Project Description: Making the transition towards renewable energy through the development of novel materials is one of the most profound scientific and technological challenges today. The specific objectives in energy storage are enhancing the energy density, accelerating charge rates, and securing the sustainability of energy storage materials. Our group uses a toolset of in-situ x-ray characterization techniques, including x-ray diffraction, coherent x-ray imaging, and x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, in understanding fundamental principles behind electrochemical storage in operando. This knowledge is critical in developing new design principles for future energy storage materials. This project focuses on sodium-ion cathode materials. Using sodium-ion batteries provided by our collaborators, the student will collect in situ x-ray diffraction data with our laboratory x-ray source and the synchrotron source CHESS. The student will learn x-ray diffraction methods for mapping the size distribution of the nanoparticles, determining the phase fractions during phase transformations, analyzing microstrain, and investigating ionic transport in sodium-ion cathode materials. Through interaction with the graduate students, postdocs, and professor, the student will learn the basics of synchrotron x-ray science, especially the recently developed use of coherent x-ray sources.