JCESR Concludes Decade-Long Mission

Leaves Lasting Impact on Battery Science

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Imagine a world where storage plays a much larger role in advancing the coming energy transitions in vehicles, the grid, even electric flight. We would have specialized batteries for our own electric vehicles, for short-hauling people and goods, and for long-haul freight. The grid would have storage for renewable integration, managing system-wide demand, and delivering customized electricity service. Batteries for electric flight would power Uber air taxis, deliver packages, and enable short-haul commercial passenger flight. To accomplish this vision, we will need a diversity of batteries for a diversity of uses.

Each of the five JCESR research Thrusts pushes the boundaries of scientific understanding, integrates with the other thrusts, and advances the overall performance of prospective energy storage systems.
Each of the five JCESR research Thrusts pushes the boundaries of scientific understanding, integrates with the other Thrusts, and advances the overall performance of prospective energy storage systems.

JCESR pursues this vision by delivering transformative materials for batteries – including cathodes, anodes, electrolytes and interfaces – each modified with intentional defects and disorder to enhance performance.

JCESR will deliver these transformative materials by designing and building them from the bottom up, atom-by-atom and molecule-by-molecule, where each atom or molecule plays a prescribed role targeting overall materials behavior.

JCESR is divided into five Thrusts dealing with the most important materials and phenomena of energy storage: Liquid Solvation Science, Solid Solvation Science, Flowable Redoxmer Science, Charge Transfer at Dynamic Interfaces, and Science of Material Complexity. The five Thrusts are intimately linked to each other, and progress in any one requires working with the others in order to achieve the Hub goals. With this in mind, we have created a Research Integration function, which ensures that each Thrust pushes its scientific boundaries, supports related Thrusts and aligns with JCESR’s overarching vision and mission.

JCESR Renewed for Another Five Years

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its decision to renew the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub led by Argonne National Laboratory and focused on advancing battery science and technology. The announcement was made by DOE Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar at the InnovationXLab Energy Storage Summit.

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Today’s batteries meet only some of their targeted performance metrics. Meeting all performance metrics for a given application requires new materials with transformative behavior, such as simultaneously achieving high reactivity, high mobility, and high stability in electrodes, or high selectivity and stability at low cost in membranes. These transformative materials must be designed based on an intimate knowledge of the atomic and molecular origins of the targeted behavior.

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JCESR comprises a collaborative set of partners with capabilities and expertise unmatched in any single institution. From the outset we identified institutions with demonstrated expertise and proven capabilities with a willingness to break barriers and think outside the traditional box in order to transform the battery landscape. Our partner set integrates the researchers, ideas, and tools of 18 institutions from national laboratories, universities, and industry.

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Research Legacy

Since 2012, JCESR focused on identifying materials in the “beyond-lithium-ion” space with the potential to revolutionize energy storage. Our reductionist approach resulted in new knowledge and concepts that impact the energy storage community beyond JCESR. We are now focused on delivering transformative materials for batteries, each with intentional defects and disorder to enhance performance, leaving a legacy of a diversity of batteries for a diversity of uses.

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By the Numbers

In the first five years of JCESR, our 150+ researchers hailing from 20 institutions published 380+ papers, submitted 32 patent applications and 70 invention disclosures, and launched 3 startups. Our community reach includes 95 JCESR alumni and 100+ affiliates hailing from 25 states and 4 countries. JCESR’s 95 alumni span graduate students, postdocs, and mid-career researchers who represent our legacy in universities, national laboratories, and private industry worldwide. This human capital is one of our most impactful and enduring contributions to the energy storage community.

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JCESR Community

JCESR is a leader in the scientific community, both initiating and participating in important energy storage conferences worldwide. Recognizing the importance of lithium sulfur to transform the current battery landscape, in 2016 JCESR teamed with OXIS Energy and Imperial College London to initiate the Li-SM3 Conference, providing a forum for international collaboration. In addition, JCESR researchers participate in several scientific conferences and regional events throughout the year in a leadership position.

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Scientific Tools

The simulation of perfect crystalline materials for cathodes with the Materials Project and of organic molecules for electrolytes with the Electrolyte Genome allows thousands of new materials to be explored for energy storage applications. Multimodal characterization of materials by X-rays, infrared spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance enables rapid fundamental understanding of the atomic and molecular origins of overall materials behavior. JCESR continues to significantly enhance the capabilities of these incisive tools and apply them in new contexts.

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