Design of Fast Energy Storage Pseudocapacitive Materials
Electrical energy storage is essential to the energy transition and to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. While electricity storage in batteries has made significant progress in recent years in terms of the amount of energy stored, one major challenge is the long time required for charging. Capacitors represent another class of electrical energy storage devices that can be charged very quickly. Such capacitive energy storage is an important technology for numerous applications where electrical energy needs to be stored and/or released quickly. However, current devices and materials can store only a limited amount of energy. The realization of capacitors that could store a large amount of electrical energy could have an enormous impact on energy storage for the electricity grid, for electric mobility solutions, and for consumer electronics. The project aims at designing novel capacitive materials that can greatly increase the energy storage of electrochemical capacitors with fast charging and discharging. The project’s societal impact lies in its contributions towards the decarbonization of the transportation sector which accounts for 29% of all greenhouse gas emission in the United States today. The scientific approach will be based on a material design loop including experiments and modeling in order to define the features of capacitive materials enabling high storage ability, in the spirit of the Materials Genome initiative and on a large computational screening of prospective materials to obtain candidates that will be tested experimentally. The project will also serve as a platform for the training of undergraduate and graduate students in topics related to energy storage and modeling. Advantage will be taken of the existing infrastructure at UCLA and Stanford University to attract talented, ethnically and culturally diverse undergraduate student populations to work on cutting-edge research.