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Advanced Structures & Materials

Annual Plan

De Novo Design of Energy Storage Materials Through a Synergistic Approach

Project Summary

Principal Investigator

  • Bradley D. Fahlman, Central Michigan University


  • Veronica Barone, Valeri Petkov, Central Michigan University


  • Al Yazdani (post-doc), Jyoti Pandey (post-doc), Mukesh Jakhar (post-doc), Ben Seltin, Tahera Sultana, Central Michigan University


  • Yi Ding, US Army GVSC


  • Edward Shaffer II, Advanced Battery Concepts

Project began Q4 2022.

Due to worldwide interest in expanding the electrification of the transportation sector, there is a need to develop batteries beyond lithium that are composed of low-cost and abundant materials.

The goal of this project is to develop materials for novel energy storage applications. We will focus on the design, modeling & simulation, fabrication, characterization, and electrochemical testing of SAC-functionalized porous carbon and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to suppress the diffusion of polysulfide species and improve the kinetics involved in Zn-S and Al-S conversion reactions. Furthermore, since single-atom catalysts (SACs) have also been reported to improve the high-rate performance of aqueous Zn-ion batteries,12 we will test our fabricated SACs on both M-ion and M-sulfur (M = Al, Zn) batteries utilizing both non-aqueous (e.g., carbonates, ethers, ionic liquids, and alcohols) and water-in-salt aqueous electrolytes. The potential impact of our work is tremendous, as there are very few reports of stable high-energy aqueous Al-ion/Al-S batteries and no reports of utilizing SACs in these systems. Furthermore, although SACs have been reported for Zn-air batteries, there are no reports to our knowledge of using these catalysts in Zn-S cells. With an outstanding theoretical energy density of 1371 Wh/kg (2742 Wh/L), Al-S batteries have the potential to greatly exceed the current ultrahigh energy density goals of >500 Wh/kg.