Energy materials are a vital part of the global effort into combatting climate change by reducing energy emissions.
Energy materials are used for energy applications – often the generation or storage of energy. Our research focuses on two areas: battery materials and catalysts for fuel cells.
The capacities of current generation of Li-ion batteries are primarily limited by the cathode, which is the positive electrode.
Namrata Ramesh and Lijin An work with researchers collecting X-ray spectra from these materials whist they are being used, and use spectra simulated using density functional theory to understand more about the processes happening at the electrode. Viktor Ellingsson combines his modelling with spectroscopy inside an electron microscope to investigate cathode materials based on rocksalt structures.
Catalysts for Fuel Cells
Fuel cells are a viable way of making road vehicles which emit less greenhouse gases.
Understanding how oxygen interacts with catalyst particles in fuel cells is an important part of optimising the catalyst and increasing the power output of fuel cells. Alex Zanre is working with Johnson Matthey and using electron microscopy and density functional theory to study these materials.