The Princeton Lab for Electrochemical Energy Systems studies complex electrochemical behavior, with a current focus on energy storage systems. We are set up to create materials, fabricate devices, and characterize both with in situ, in operando, and ex situ methods.
A battery is a closed electrochemical reactor in which the redox potential between two dissimilar materials is exploited to provide an electrical current outside the cell while the inside of the cell moves what mass it needs to do to equilibrate (both under load and otherwise).
We think about the whole battery. Materials are certainly a critical aspect of battery design: geometric relations with the battery are equally important. Our work continually reconsiders the shape of a battery, the role of each component of a battery, and the ways in which materials and architecture might interact to positvely exploit phenomena within battery nominally considered negative. For example, we have shown
- Zinc dendrites can improve battery lifetime
- Cycle life and round trip efficiency can be decoupled
- If side reactions can be tolerated, side reactions can be designed to be reversible and not reduce electrochemical inventory
- The inherent coupling between power and energy within a closed battery creates structural implications regarding electrochemical acoustic interactions
- Complex interactions during spray coating processes can be directed to "self stabilize", allowing for rapid fabrication of composite electrodes
We have created an environment where we can quickly synthesize, fabricate, test, and analyze batteries. With our custom analysis equipment, microfluidic fabrication and testing equipment, and in-lab prototyping tools we can quickly iterate on designs and experiments, starting with a "shotgun" approach to complex problems and developing both variable spaces and hypotheses of interaction after a few design cycles. In practice, we have learned
Taken together, these findings have enabled new types of batteries for grid scale and wearable applications, as well as new diagnostic measures for batteries.
The pleesr is part of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
The lab's tooling and characterization equipment enables research and training for
- Electrochemical Materials Processing
- Electroanalytic Chemistry
- Electrochemical Acoustic Of Flight Analysis
- Rapid Prototyping of Microfluidic Electrochemical Cells
- Reactive Print Processing of Arbitrary Slurries/Inks
The lab is currently supported by the generosity of
- The Department of Energy's Advanced Research Project Agency (DOE ARPA-E)
- The National Science Foundation (NSF)
- The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Andlinger Innovation Fund
- Princeton Project X
- PEI Grand Challenges
- A gift from the XEROX Corporation
- A gift from the ICL-IP
- A gift from Mr. Harvey Klapp '63
Professor Steingart is grateful for previous support and guidance from
- The National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA)
- The Department of Energy/ARPA-E (Link)
- The Department of Energy Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LDRD
- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (Link)
- The City College of New York 21st Century Fund
- The Department of Energy Brookhaven National Laboratory LDRD