Alexander Urban

Core Faculty

Many of the limitations in prospective energy storage technologies are caused by phenomena that occur at materials interfaces. For example in ceramic solid-state batteries (a promising battery technology for electric vehicles) the anode/electrolyte interface is chemically unstable which leads to rapid deterioration. The lifetime of reversible solid oxide fuel and electrolyzer cells for grid-level storage is limited by similar degradation at the electrode/electrolyte interfaces. We employ simulations to better understand how such processes take place on the atomic scale. Using atomistic modeling, we can obtain an understanding of transport mechanisms, phase diagrams, and chemical reactions that affect macroscopic materials and device properties such as the rate capability, voltage, thermal stability, and degradation pathways. Computationally generated insights may then guide the design of improved materials or processing strategies in collaboration with our experimental colleagues at CEEC.

Research areas at CEEC: batteries for EV, grid-level storage, recycling of battery materials