Materials Challenges for Electric Energy Storage & Conversion
Featuring: Dr. Shirley Meng, Department of NanoEngineering, UC San Diego
New and improved materials for energy storage are urgently required to make more efficient use of our finite supply of fossil fuels, and to enable the effective use of renewable energy sources. Lithium ion batteries are a key source for mobile energy and one of the most promising solutions for environment-friendly transportation. However the state-of-art electrode materials for lithium ion batteries are cobalt based oxides, which are expensive, introduce safety issues and have poor rate capability for high power applications (such as plug-in HEV). In this seminar, I will demonstrate how to combine knowledge-guided synthesis/characterization and ab initio computation to develop and optimize new higher energy/power density cathode materials. In addition, with advances in controlled synthesis of nanomaterials, we are able to explore intrinsic ionic diffusivity and phase transformations in nanomaterials, developing a new approach to understand thermodynamic and transport properties of functional nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion.
Dr. Shirley Meng received her Ph.D. in Advance Materials for Micro & Nano Systems from the Singapore-MIT Alliance in 2005, after which she worked as a postdoc research fellow and became a research scientist in Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining University of Florida as a junior faculty. She is currently a faculty in Department of NanoEngineering, University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Meng’s research focuses on the direct integration of experimental techniques with first principles computation modeling for developing new materials for electric energy storage. She won the Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award in 2003 for her pioneering work on designing new high energy electrode materials for lithium ion batteries from first principles. She recently received the NSF CAREER award and her research group - Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion (http://ne.ucsd.edu/smeng/main-page) – focuses on functional ceramics and their electrochemical and thermoelectric applications. Recent programs include the design, synthesis, processing, and characterization of mixed transition metal oxides as high energy density electrode materials in advanced lithium ion batteries.