Drexel Materials alumna Kelsey Hatzell (PhD 2015, advisor: Yury Gogotsi), now assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University, has received a five-year, $515,600 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development grant (NSF-CAREER) grant for her project “Understanding Interfaces in Solid State Energy Storage Systems and Cross-Disciplinary Education.”
Hatzell’s project will explore replacing liquid organic electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries with hybrid electrolytes, which has the potential to reduce failure rates resulting from undesirable chemical side reactions inside the battery.
“These hybrid electrolytes could replace liquid organic electrolytes that have had issues with long cycle life and high energy densities. The active material’s (lithium ion) transport within the electrolyte and to the electrode is not fully understood in these hybrids,” Hatzell said. “Establishing the role interfaces have on ionic transport could result in far-reaching applications related to performance and functionality of chemical sensors, fuel cells and other battery chemistries.”