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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). Building on UT’s preeminence in electrochemistry, we also have nanoscale scanning electrochemical probe microscopy tools, including SECCM, SICM, and SECM and can complete correlative nanoscale electrochemical imaging.

Faculty in This Area

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

Recent Research Projects

Single-Ion Conducting Network Polymers
Michael Aubrey
Macromolecules

Li2S6-Integrated PEO-Based Polymer Electrolytes
John Goodenough
Angewandte Chemie

Micropores-in-Macroporous Gel Polymer Electrolytes for Alkali Metal Batteries
Hadi Khani and John Goodenough
Sustainable Energy & Fuels

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

Nanostructured Composite Foils Produced as Lithium-ion Battery Anodes
Arumugam Manthiram
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

A Sodium–Antimony–Telluride Intermetallic as an Anode-Free Metal Battery
David Mitlin
Advanced Materials

Li–Zn Overlayer to Facilitate Uniform Lithium Deposition for Lithium Metal Batteries
Buddie Mullins
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

iR Drop in Scanning Electrochemical Cell Microscopy
Hang Ren
Faraday Discussions

Rational Design of Coating Ions for High-Nickel Layered Oxide
Jamie Warner and Arumugam Manthiram
Advanced Energy Materials

Thick Electrodes with Active Materials Gradient Design for Enhanced Energy Storage
Guihua Yu
ACS Nano