Last year, Peng Bai, assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering, published research in which he discovered that one of the main roadblocks to building smaller lithium ion batteries was actually three separate roadblocks.
Now, Bai has received a $397,214 grant from the National Science Foundation to better understand these roadblocks, which can cause short circuits and loss in energy capacity. The combined experimental and theoretical research will be used to guide the holistic design of stable alkali metal anodes.
The project also will benefit students from K-12 through graduate level. A summer program will be established, working with underrepresented high school students and high school teachers using engineering concepts of metal-based batteries.