Materials Science

Materials for Modern Rechargeable Batteries: Lithium-Based Battery as a Case Study
Aninda J. Bhattacharyya, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore

Present energy requirements of mankind depend predominantly on fossil fuels and biomass. Considerable efforts are being made to increment energy efficiency and develop newer technologies based on existing carbon-based fuels to meet the global energy demand in a sustainable manner. However, alarming rate of depletion of fossil fuel stocks coupled with irreparable damages caused by it to the environment have led to diversification of research and development towards alternative sources of energy. Fortunately, nature has abundant reserves for renewable energy in the form of wind, solar and hydro. Direct generation of electricity from solar radiation using solar cells is clean and attractive. This is also true for energy derived from wind and hydro. However, all these forms of energy are intermittent in nature and efficiency for energy production involves several non-trivial issues. Most importantly, efficient and economic management of electrical energy produced from such sources also necessarily require storage. The storage and retrieval of electrical energy is most conveniently accomplished with electrochemical storage systems such as rechargeable batteries. Materials comprising these devices completely determine the device performance. So, development of new materials with new synthesis strategies is strategically important for the development of high performance and safe modern rechargeable batteries. Using lithium battery chemistry as the case study, the talk will discuss the importance of tailored architectures at reduced length scales of conductors in enhancing electrochemical performances. Chemical composition is very important and in this regard composites and hybrid (inorganic-organic) materials provide multitude of avenues for generating materials with superior physico-chemical properties. Coupled with these issues, the three dimensional spatial assembly is very critical as it optimizes the electronic and ionic pathways for efficient energy storage.

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Materials Science

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