Materials Science Research Lecture
It is critical to understand how electrochemical materials change, transform, and degrade within devices to enable the development of next-generation energy storage and conversion systems. In my research group, multi-scale in situ techniques are used to reveal reaction mechanisms and interfacial transformations in materials for batteries. Here, I will present our recent work on understanding and controlling transformations at interfaces between solid-state electrolytes and lithium electrodes within solid-state batteries, where we use interlinked in situ investigations (X-ray and electron microscopy) to investigate how these interfacial transformations control chemo-mechanical degradation. Next, I will discuss our work on understanding phase transformation pathways in high-capacity battery electrode materials using in situ transmission electron microscopy. In particular, unexpected chemo-mechanical stability is found during reaction of conversion electrodes with alkali ions larger than Li+. Overall, this research demonstrates how fundamental understanding of dynamic processes can be used to guide the design and engineering of new materials with improved lifetime in batteries.
More about the Speaker:
Matthew McDowell is an assistant professor at Georgia Tech with appointments in the School of Materials Science and Engineering and the G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2013 and was a postdoc at Caltech from 2013 until 2015. McDowell has 67 publications and has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Sloan Fellowship, the NSF CAREER Award, the AFOSR Young Investigator Award, the ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, and the Scialog Fellowship. For more information, see http://mtmcdowell.gatech.edu.