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Workshop / Seminar

Preliminary Exam

Fulmer Hall
Room 125
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About the event

Speaker:  William McLeod

Group:  Bell Group

Title:  Enhancing Aqueous Zinc-Ion Batteries with Permanent Magnets


Although lithium-ion batteries have achieved widespread commercial success for their high energy density, concerns about the sustainability, safety, and cost of essential components have driven a search for alternative electrochemical energy storage systems. Aqueous zinc ion batteries, although not as energy dense as lithium-ion batteries, are attractive for their excellent safety, low-cost, ease of fabrication, and the abundance of essential materials. These batteries are held back, however, by sluggish kinetics and poor reversibility at the cathode and by irregular deposition and passivating layers on the anode. Herein, we propose the incorporation of permanent magnets into the batteries’ construction as a solution to both electrode shortcomings at no additional energy cost or complex materials engineering. In the first aim, we will demonstrate the ability of permanent magnets both to improve the operation of cathode processes by inducing convection and accelerating electrolyte exchange and to influence the synthesis of a copolymer to achieve higher capacity and cyclability as a cathode material. In the second aim, we will demonstrate how permanent magnets can regulate the deposition of zinc ions on surfaces other than zinc, making the “anode-free” configuration viable without the need for large surfactants, complex material synthesis, or electrolyte additives.