Materials Synthesis and Characterization

colorful abstract
ADF-STEM imaging of LiMnNiO2 from the Electron Microscopy Facility.

UT researchers are developing novel material syntheses and processing techniques using ceramic, solution-based and other methods, including nanomaterials and thin films. Through advanced ex situ, in situ and in operando characterization of materials and batteries under operating conditions, they are understanding the challenges we must overcome and how to redesign materials.

Synthetic Capabilities

For the production of cathode and anode active materials, current collectors and polymer and polymer blend electrolytes, our equipment and capabilities include co-precipitation systems, milling machines, tube/muffle furnaces, Parr reactors, custom polymerization systems, atomic layer deposition and thin film growth and chemical vapor deposition.

Characterization

Over 100 pieces of equipment and instrumentation at the Texas Materials Institute cover a broad range of microscopic and spectroscopic techniques as well as custom-built, air-sensitive transfer chambers. Other characterization equipment includes BET, TGA/DSC, ICP-OES, GPC, Rheometry, Pycnometry and Karl Fischer Titration.

Advanced Capabilities

Our advanced capabilities for materials synthesis and characterization include the AJA UHV Sputter System and Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectroscopy (DEMS). In UT's new Electron Microscopy Facility in the Texas Materials Institute, capabilities include in situ observation with the Protochips Poseiden Liquid Flow Holder: Electrochemistry Pack and Heating Pack, and Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (TOF.SIMS) for chemical substance identification (e.g. composition of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) passivation layer).

Faculty in This Area

John Ekerdt
Donglei (Emma) Fan
John Goodenough
Hadi Khani
Brian Korgel
Nathaniel Lynd
Arumugam Manthiram
David Mitlin
Buddie Mullins
Jamie Warner
Guihua Yu

Recent Research Projects

In-situ TEM of De(Lithiation) of Silicon Nanowires
Brian Korgel
ACS Energy Letters

Interfacial Chemistry in Li-S Batteries
Arumugam Manthiram
Advanced Energy Materials

SEI Analysis for Metal Battery Anodes
David Mitlin
Advanced Energy Materials

Stabilization of Ni-Rich Cathodes
Buddie Mullins
ACS Nano

Electrolyte Engineering for Redox Flow Batteries
Guihua Yu
Angewandte Chemie International - a Journal of the German Chemical Society

Increased Energy Density for Na-ion Batteries Through Cathode Design
John Goodenough
ACS Nano Letters

Understanding Residual Lithium in High-Ni Cathodes
Jamie Warner and Arumugam Manthiram
ACS Energy Letters