Guest Lecture – Prof. Nikhil Koratkar

May 25, 2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Wallberg Building, WB 407
184 College St
Toronto, ON M5S 3E4

Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: the Next Frontier in Energy Storage

Professor Nikhil Koratkar

Prof. Nikhil Koratkar
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Professor Nikhil A. Koratkar, the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Endowed Chair and Professor, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, joins MSE to give a special lecture on Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: the Next Frontier in Energy Storage. His research focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and application of nanoscale material systems.

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries offer a theoretical energy density of ~2600 Wh/kg (compared to ~387 Wh/kg for Li-ion technology) and therefore offer great potential as a next generation energy storage device. However there are two major barriers to realization of high performance Li-S batteries: (1) poor cycle stability caused by dissolution of intermediate lithium polysulfides from the S cathode into the electrolyte and (2) nucleation and growth of dendritic structures on the Li metal anode, which can electrically short the battery. In this talk, I will discuss some possible solutions to these problems. Specifically, I will show that two-dimensional (2D) sheets of black phosphorous (i.e. phosphorene) are highly effective as a lithium polysulfide trapping agent. I will further show that the Li dendrite problem can be addressed by using self (Joule) heating to accelerate surface diffusion processes to heal (smoothen) the dendrites in situ. Such advances show potential in enabling the successfully deployment of Li-S batteries with breakthrough improvements in performance as compared to the incumbent Li-ion technology.

Professor Koratkar is a winner of the NSF CAREER Award (2003), RPI Early Career Award (2005), the Electrochemical Society’s SES Young investigator Award (2009) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award (2015). In 2016, Koratkar was elected a Fellow of the ASME. He has published a book on graphene as an additive in composite materials and over 170 archival journal papers (> 15,000 Citations, H-Index = 61). In September 2010, Koratkar was appointed Editor of CARBON (Elsevier). He serves as scientific advisor to two start-up companies (Ener-Mat Technologies and EVERON24) which are aimed at commercializing next-generation energy storage solutions.

*Professor Koratkar will be available for an informal meet and greet and to talk further from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in WB 134.


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