Multi-university effort will advance materials, define the future of mobility

    With support from the Toyota Research Institute, MIT faculty will focus on next-generation energy storage.

    Martin Z Bazant Materials Day 2016 7443 Web
    Martin Z. Bazant, the E. G. Roos (1944) professor of chemical engineering and a professor of mathematics, is one of eight MIT researchers who will receive support from the Toyota Research Institute for three projects directed at advancing energy storage, such as rechargeable batteries used in hybrid and electric cars. Bazant aims “to unify energy materials design by connecting atomistic with macroscopic properties and advance electrochemical materials more generally.”

    Three MIT-affiliated research teams will receive about $10M in funding as part of a $35M materials science discovery program launched by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Provided over four years, the support to MIT researchers will be primarily directed at scientific discoveries and advancing a technology that underpins the future of mobility and autonomous systems: energy storage.

    MIT’s Martin Bazant, joined by colleagues at Stanford University and Purdue University, will lead an effort to develop a novel, data-driven design of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These energy storage workhorses, used in cellphones and hybrid cars, are practical, but complicated due to the fundamental complexity of their electrochemistry. Leveraging a nanoscale visualization technique that revealed, for the first time, how Li-ion particles charge and discharge in real time, in good agreement with his theoretical predictions, Bazant will use machine learning to develop a scalable predictive modeling framework for rechargeable batteries.

    Other MIT thrusts focus on:

    • Design principles of polymer stability and conductivity for lithium batteries;

    • Design principles of nanostructured, non-precious-metal-containing catalysts for oxygen reduction and evolution.

    Besides Bazant, MIT researchers participating in these initiatives are Richard Braatz, Jeffrey Grossman, Yang Shao-Horn, Jeremiah A. Johnson, Adam Willard, Suvrit Sra, and Yuriy Román, associate professor of chemical engineering,

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    School of Engineering
    April 3, 2017