Introduction

An electrochemical system such as a rechargeable battery or a fuel cell relies on a chain of kinetic and transport processes, which occur and interact across many scales of size and distance. Our research program centers on electrochemical engineering, with an emphasis on the technological problems associated with energy storage and production. We aim to connect the microscopic perspective of the physical chemist with the macroscopic view of the device engineer.

Typical lithium-ion batteries convert chemical energy to electrical energy through reactions that insert or remove lithium from the crystal lattices of porous solids to induce electron exchange. The overall charge/discharge behavior of a battery cell depends on the crystal structure of the solid insertion compounds involved (angstrom scale), on lithium diffusion and intercalation through aggregated solid domains (nanometer scale), and on ionic conduction within electrode pores and the separator membrane (micrometer scale). These interdependent processes may also be accompanied by undesired side reactions, mechanical forces, and heat generation, all of which may degrade performance of the battery as a whole. Thus one of our current research thrusts is to build models that rationalize electrode instability, internal heat transfer, and material degradation in rechargeable lithium-ion or lithium-anode batteries.

Polymer-electrolyte or solid-oxide fuel cells involve similarly coupled processes, in which the flows of heat, electrical current, and mass occur simultaneously, and can impact each other on multiple scales and in various ways. The development of more sophisticated models for electrochemical systems mandates a parallel development of new theoretical methods, both to provide adequate predictive capability and to supply means by which material properties can be assessed without prohibitively large numbers of experiments. Another research thrust of our group is to extend techniques in the statistical mechanics of transport processes, which may allow macroscopic transport or thermodynamic properties to be deduced from molecular simulations.

Upcoming Talks

April, 2017

Saber will be giving a talk at the ACS Conference in San Francisco, California.

April, 2017

James will be giving a talk at the ACS Conference in San Francisco, California.

Recent News

October, 2016

Priyam gave a talk, "Models to Couple Mechanics and Electrochemical Transport in Solid Electrolytes," at the 230th ECS Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

October, 2016

Howie gave a talk, "Electrochemical-Thermal Characterization and Modeling of Large Format Prismatic Lithium Ion Batteries," at the 230th ECS Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

August, 2016

Priyam gave a talk, "Coupling of Material, Charge, and Momentum Transport in Liquid and Solid Electrolytes," at the 67th International Society of Electrochemistry in The Hague, Netherlands.

June, 2016

James gave a talk, "Towards Symmetric All-Organic Redox Flow Batteries," at the IFBF 2016 Conference in Karlsruhe, Germany.

June, 2016

Prof. Monroe gave a talk, "Coupling of Mechanical and Transport Phenomena in Ionomers," at the 229th ECS Meeting in San Diego, California.

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Recent Publications

  • G. Vardar, J.G. Smith, T. Thompson, K. Inagaki, J. Naruse, H. Hiramatsu, A.E.S. Sleightholme, J. Sakamoto, D.J. Siegel, C.W. Monroe, "Mg/O2 Battery Based on the Magnesium–Aluminum Chloride Complex (MACC) Electrolyte," Chem. Mater 28 (2016), 7629-7637.

  • J. Liu, S.K. Rahimian, C.W. Monroe, "Capacity-limiting mechanisms in Li/O2 batteries," Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18 (2016), 22840-22851.

  • A.F. Chadwick, G. Vardar, S. DeWitt, A.E.S. Sleightholme, C.W. Monroe, D.J. Siegel, K. Thornton, "Computational Model of Magnesium Deposition and Dissolution for Property Determination via Cyclic Voltammetry," J. Electrochem. Soc. 163 (2016), A1813-A1821.

  • A.M. Bizeray, D.A. Howey, C.W. Monroe, "Resolving a Discrepancy in Diffusion Potentials, with a Case Study for Li-Ion Batteries," J. Electrochem. Soc. 163 (2016), E223-E229.

  • J.D. Saraidaridis, B.M. Bartlett, C.W. Monroe, "Spectroelectrochemistry of Vanadium Acetylacetonate and Chromium Acetylacetonate for Symmetric Nonaqueous Flow Batteries," J. Electrochem. Soc. 163 (2016), A1239-A1246.

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