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Brookhaven Lab to focus on characterizing composite solid electrolytes and sulfur cathodes in Battery500 project

For its part in the 5-year, $50-million Battery500 project targeting next-generation batteries (earlier post), Brookhaven National Lab will focus on determining the characteristics of composite solid electrolytes and sulfur cathodes using intense beams of x-rays at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and other techniques including mass-spectroscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), another Office of Science User Facility.

The Brookhaven team will also explore materials synthesis and crystal growth.

The Battery500 team aims to build a battery pack with a specific energy of 500 watt-hours per kilogram, compared to the 170-200 watt-hours per kilogram in today’s typical EV battery.

The researchers will design new electrode and cell architectures, pairing lithium metal as the negative electrode with two different materials for the battery’s positive electrode. In this redesigned battery, the prevention of unwanted side reactions will significantly improve battery performance.

Brookhaven is currently budgeted to receive $1 million a year, although the actual funding numbers will be determined in specific project planning discussions.

Other Battery500 Consortium members include:

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (leader)
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Binghamton University (State University of New York)
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Washington
  • IBM (advisory board member)
  • Tesla Motors, Inc. (advisory board member)

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