Professor: Richard Robinson
Project Description: Lithium-ion batteries are the preferred technology for use in rechargeable, portable applications. Transition metal oxide particles are commonly used as the electrodes. Cobalt oxide nanomaterials, for instance, show excellent rate capability and high capacity, hence hollow cobalt oxide nanoparticles should perform with enhanced properties due to increased surface area and shorter diffusion paths. We have developed methods to create interparticle coupling between assembled nanoparticles of metal oxides. Our methods do not use polymeric binders or carbon black, which is unheard of in the battery field. We believe our new methods will launch a new generation of battery technologies. In this REU project, the student intern will participate in our efforts to synthesize different compositions of nanoparticle metal oxides, characterize them, and produce battery devices. The student will learn about colloidal nanoparticle synthesis, nanoparticle assembly, and making and testing lithium-ion batteries. Our techniques are based on colloidal chemistry and solid state processing.