The Materials Project was created by researchers from Berkeley Lab and MIT and was launched in 2011. These same researchers became part of JCESR at its creation in 2012. The basis of this computer modeling tool is a database consisting of nearly 100,000 calculated materials and their properties. By providing materials researchers with the information they need to design more effectively, the Materials Project aims to accelerate the discovery process in battery electrodes and in materials research.
The Electrolyte Genome is a new direction launched by JCESR to apply simulation techniques to liquid organic electrolytes, the lifeblood of any battery. It is a database with more than 26,000 molecules that can be used to calculate key electrolyte properties for beyond-lithium-ion batteries. Some of these properties are oxidation-reduction potential, solubility, and stability against undesirable side reactions that take place over many charge-discharge cycles. JCESR researchers successfully demonstrated the high discovery potential of the Electrolyte Genome in a run with 1,400 molecules in a search for candidate electrolytes that would work in a beyond-lithium-ion battery for the grid application.
Electrolytes are a stumbling block for many battery technologies, whether the platform is designed for electric vehicles or a flow battery for grid applications. The Electrolyte Genome and Materials Project calculate the properties of a large number of molecules and solids to give experimentalists a much better set of materials to work with than they can find by experiment alone.