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MSSI/Bernal Institute Research Forum - Thursday, 24 November at 12h00

MSSI/Bernal Institute Research Forum - Thursday, 24 November at 12h00

Dr Hugh Geaney, MSSI/Bernal Institute


Towards an Improved Li-O2 Battery: Key Scientific Challenges in Current Rechargeable Non-Aqueous Li–O2 Batteries


Li-O2 batteries have been widely highlighted as the most promising ‘beyond Li-ion’ battery technology with potential energy densities far exceeding standard energy storage solutions. The immense potential of Li-O2 batteries is as a result of the atypical battery chemistry which utilizes O2 as a reactant at the cathode, with Li2O2 formation and decomposition occurring during discharge and charge respectively. However, despite the lure of Li-O2 batteries, increased understanding of fundamental instabilities associated with the various components (i.e. anode, cathode and electrolyte) has led to scepticism around the short term prospects of the system. As a result, increased importance has been placed on developing a more complete understanding of the complex battery chemistry and the factors affecting practical performance (e.g. scaling of the system from lab-scale to EV level). Here, a number of studies investigating the impact of key parameters on Li-O2 battery performance are presented. Specifically, i) the influence of MnO2 nanorod catalysts on battery chemistry, ii) the importance of judicious current collector substrate selection, iii) the role of electrolyte salt and solvent in determining the discharge mechanism and iv) the influence of discharge/charge rate asymmetry, are discussed in the context of developing a greater understanding of Li-O2 battery operation.


Dr Hugh Geaney recently returned to the University of Limerick as a postdoctoral researcher working on the scale-up of high capacity Si and Ge nanowire (NW) anode materials for practical Li-ion battery applications. Hugh completed a degree in Industrial Chemistry and PhD in the University of Limerick in 2008 and 2012 respectively. His PhD research focussed on exploring novel growth approaches for Ge and Si NWs, resulting in the development of a versatile, high boiling point organic solvent system suited to the growth of Si, Ge, Si/Ge heterostructure and silicide/germanide NWs. This system has been used by 6 PhD students to date. Following the completion of his research in UL, Hugh joined the research group of Dr Colm O’Dwyer in University College Cork. While in UCC, he was involved in the EU FP7 project STABLE, aimed at improving the performance of Li-O2 batteries. Following completion of this project, Hugh conducted Li-ion research as a senior-postdoctoral researcher in the same group, investigating the properties of porous ‘inverse-opal’ anode materials spanning intercalation, alloying and conversion lithiation modes. Hugh is co-author of over 40 scientific papers which are currently cited > 980 times and has a h-index of 14.

DATE:           Thursday, 24 November 2016

TIME:            12h00

VENUE:        MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension


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