MSE Seminar: The Materials Evolution of the Aqueous Lithium Ion Battery
Speaker: Arthur van Wald Cresce, Materials Scientist, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Lithium ion batteries have gone through many permutations since their inception in the early 1980s as an energy storage alternative competitive with nickel metal hydride and lead acid batteries. From 1994 until 2015, lithium ion batteries with water electrolytes were a research area that produced a few interesting papers but exactly zero industry-ready battery technologies. In 2015, a collaboration between ARL and the University of Maryland produced an aqueous electrolyte called the "water-in-salt" electrolyte (WiSE) that used high concentrations of a lithium imide salt to passivate the battery anode and increase the electrochemical stability window of water from 1.SV to effectively 3.0V. Further advancement resulted in a 4.2V aqueous lithium ion battery- making aqueous lithium ion batteries able to deliver up to 400 Wh/kg and 900 Wh/L at the pack level using advanced electrode materials. Such high gravimetric and volumetric energy density makes aqueous lithium ion batteries a promising potential source of energy storage for electric vehicles, homes, and devices. Aqueous lithium ion batteries do not burn and do not fail violently even if violently compromised at high states of charge.
The combination of very high pack energy density and materials-level safety gives aqueous lithium ion batteries a significant potential advantage in the commercial marketplace. This talk will highlight the growth of aqueous lithium ion batteries as a research concept and their transition to relevance using materials and strategies developed through ARL collaboration with the University of Maryland and outside industrial partners.
Dr. Arthur V. Cresce is a materials scientist and electrochemist in the Energy Storage Branch at ARL and has been a civilian employee since 2012. His objective is to develop lithium ion batteries that use water based electrolytes, as well as the fundamental study of the behavior of electrolytes, their interfacial formation, and factors used to select superior electrolytes for different applications. He is also responsible for re-designing electrodes meant to be used with solid gel electrolytes and flexible electrode materials that will be used to construct fully flexible lithium ion batteries. He has also studied the fundamental properties of aqueous electrolytes, such as their salvation, the relationship between free water, anion reduction, and electrolyte sta bility. He graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the laboratory of Peter Kofinas in 2007 and joined ARL as a postdoctoral fellow in 2009 after a postdoctoral stint at the University of Maryland in Baltimore School of Pharmacy. His dissertation detailed the use of monodisperse amphiphilic block copolymers as a selection and sensing tool for microfluidic and MEMs devices.