Beth Johnston

Project Title: Nanostructured high energy density materials for positive insertion electrodes: towards high voltage all solid-state batteries

Lithium ion batteries are ubiquitous in modern life, from portable electronics to emerging all electric vehicles. However, issues persist with long term stability and safe operation at high voltages. Research undertaken in Professor Serena Corr’s Functional Materials Group at the University of Glasgow focuses on the design and synthesis of nanostructured electrodes and solid electrolytes as improved materials for lithium and sodium ion batteries. My area of research is the development of higher energy density materials for battery electrodes which means more energy can be stored in smaller and lighter batteries. One way of doing this is to tailor the crystal chemistry of these active materials to include redox active elements such as nickel that can increase the redox potential to allow batteries to operate at higher voltages, yielding higher energy densities. This materials design aspect of my work is complemented by also considering more novel ways to produce these materials. Using microwaves to produce battery materials is of particular interest as this represents a faster route to materials synthesis and can afford highly ordered nanostructured electrodes that can result in better performing batteries. Using microwaves can also allow shorter reactions at lower temperatures, which is beneficial from an environmental and industrial point of view. The results from my research will see the development of innovative synthetic routes to high performing materials and more efficient energy storage materials for the future.

Beth is a Carnegie PhD Scholar who started her PhD in Engineering at the University of Glasgow before following her supervisor, Prof Serena Corr to the University of Sheffield.

Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: Chemical and Biological Engineering

University: University of Sheffield

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