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Andlinger Center Events

Date: April 15, 2013

Time: 4:30 pm -

Location: Computer Science 104

Professor Arumugam Manthiram, Director of the Texas Materials Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, presents “Challenges and Opportunities of Electrical Energy Storage Technologies” as part of the 2012-2013 Highlight Seminar Series.

Electrical energy stored in batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries, powers most of the modern portable electronic devices such as cellphones and laptops. Batteries are also being pursued intensively for electric vehicles and stationary storage of electricity produced by renewable sources like solar and wind. However, their adoption for transportation and stationary storage applications requires significant reduction in cost, long cycle life, increase in energy and power, and improvement in safety, which are in turn controlled by the component materials used in batteries. Clearly, development of new materials for existing battery technologies or new battery chemistries at an affordable cost with long life is needed to address our future energy needs. Accordingly, after providing an overview of the current status, this presentation will focus on the development of the next generation of electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries as well as new battery chemistries such as sodium-ion batteries and dual-electrolyte lithium-air batteries.

Specifically, high-capacity, high-voltage oxide and high-capacity sulfur cathodes as well as safe nano-engineered alloy anodes for lithium-ion batteries will be first presented, emphasizing the importance of optimizing the surface and bulk structures and novel cell configurations to overcome the persistent problems in the field. Sodium is more abundant than lithium, so development of electrode materials for sodium-ion batteries will then be presented. Finally, dual-electrolyte lithium-air cells in which the lithium anode in an organic electrolyte is separated by a solid electrolyte from the air electrode in an aqueous catholyte solution will be presented.

Arumugam Manthiram is currently the Joe C. Walter Chair in Engineering and Director of the Texas Materials Institute and the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Texas at Austin. He received B.S. (1974) and M.S. (1976) degrees in chemistry from Madurai University, India, and a Ph.D. degree in chemistry in 1980 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. After working as a Lecturer in India and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and at the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), he became an Assistant Professor at UT-Austin in 1991 and rose to the rank of Professor in 2000.

Dr. Manthiram’s research is focused on rechargeable batteries, fuel cells, and supercapacitors, specifically engaged in the developing new, low-cost, efficient materials, novel chemical synthesis and processing approaches, and a fundamental understanding of their structure-property-performance relationships. He is a Co-founder of ActaCell, a lithium-ion battery startup in Austin. He has authored about 500 publications, including 400 journal articles, and 8 patents. He is the Regional (USA) Editor of Solid State Ionics and is serving as an editorial board member for 5 other journals.

Dr. Manthiram received the Engineering Foundation Faculty Excellence Award in 1994, Mechanical Engineering Department Faculty Leadership Award in 1996, Mechanical Engineering Department Outstanding Teaching Award in 2011, and the University of Texas Outstanding Graduate Teaching award in 2012. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society in 2004, a Founding Fellow of the World Academy of Materials and Manufacturing Engineering in 2006, and a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society in 2011. He was awarded the Charlotte Maer Patton Centennial Fellowship in Engineering in 1998, the Ashley H. Priddy Centennial Professorship in Engineering in 2002, the BF Goodrich Endowed Professorship in Materials Engineering in 2006, the Jack S. Josey Professorship in Energy Studies in 2008, and the Joe C. Walter Chair in Engineering in 2009.