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Carbon Dioxide Flow Battery

Inventors at UCI have developed a novel electrocatalyst that reversibly converts carbon dioxide to its reduced form for the power source of a flow battery. The incorporation of this novel electocatalyst allows a common chemical, such as carbon dioxide to be included in the flow battery providing more affordable alternative than what is currently used. Furthermore, this technology has increased solubility, improving the energy density of the battery.

A New Doping Strategy for Layered Oxide Electrode Materials Used in Lithium-Ion Batteries

Researchers at UCI have invented a novel method that significantly improves the design and efficiency of lithium ion batteries. The invention is based on a “high entropy” or “cocktail” doping strategy, which improves the electrochemical performance of cathode materials through increasing energy density and cycle life and reducing reliance on expensive and toxic materials such as Cobalt.

Laser additive manufacturing method for producing porous layers

The inventors at UCI have created a method of doping layered cathode materials in sodium-ion batteries. In this method more than five impurity elements are introduced into a host material, in this case a sodium-based layered cathode material, Na0.667Mn0.666Ni0.167Co0.167O2. This technique is being utilized in order to create sodium-ion batteries that are more competitive with the historically used lithium-ion battery.

Cardiac Energy Harvesting Device And Methods Of Use

This technology involves a medical device implanted in the heart’s ventricle that recharges leadless pacemakers. This device contains magnets and inductive coils whose motion is coupled to the contractions of the ventricles in order to create electricity.

Group 13 Metals as Anolytes in Non-Aqueous, Redox Flow Batteries

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have identified earth abundant and other relatively inexpensive materials that form the basis of novel molecules (anolytes), with long lifecycles and high energy densities, to be used in redox flow batteries.

Advanced Lithium-Sulfur Battery Technology

Profs. Cengiz and Mihrimah Ozkan from the University of California, Riverside have developed multiple improvements to lithium-sulfur battery technology to increase their viability in commercial applications. These methods include the suppression of the shuttle effect via a magnetron sputtered titanium dioxide thin film, silicon and carbon nanocomposite spheres to enhance electrochemical performance, and a methodology for conditioning Li-S cells. With improvements like these, Li-S batteries may succeed lithium-ion cells because of their theoretically longer battery life and larger storage capacity that is ideal for devices like electric vehicles and handheld electronics. Fig 1: Schematic of enhanced Li-S battery anode material.  

Laser Additive Manufacturing Method For Producing Porous Layers.

A method of metal additive manufacturing which allows for production of porous products with pore size potentially down to the nanometer-scale.

A Battery-Less Wirelessly Powered Frequency-Swept Spectroscopy Sensor

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a wirelessly powered frequency-swept spectroscopy sensor.

Voltage-Responsive Coating for Lithium-Sulfur Battery

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have developed a lithium-sulfur battery that overcomes the poor recharging and short lifespan problems common among other lithium-sulfur battery configurations.

Simple Low-Cost Battery Electrode Alternative

Prof. Mangolini and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a novel silicon-tin nanocomposite that may be used as anodes for lithium ion batteries. Commercial silicon particles and off-the-shelf additives such as tin dichloride are used due to their low material cost, and have shown good performance in both capacity and stability. These hybrid structures show a dramatic improvement compared to those prepared with silicon alone. Measurements suggest that these composites have an overall lower active layer resistance compared to a silicon-only case. This avoids the formation of electrical “dead spots”, and enables the full utilization of the active material. The effectiveness of this simple, low-cost approach suggests that if used in combination with more advanced structures, it may be provide the critical improvement necessary to finally realize a silicon-based next-generation anode. Fig 1: (A) Top-down SEM of the active layer after coating and annealing, without the addition of the tin precursor (B) Same as (A), but with the addition of the tin precursor.  

High-Storage-Capacity Battery Anode Alternative

Prof. Mangolini and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a novel process for coating silicon nanoparticles with a conformal shell of carbon specifically optimized for electrochemical energy storage applications. This process allows for simple control of the thickness and degree of graphitization of the nanoparticles. The introduction of a highly-graphitic carbon coating on the surface of the silicon particles serves as a buffer layer, promoting a more robust cycling, and improves the overall electrical conductivity of the silicon-carbon composite. Replacement of 10% by weight of graphite in the electrode composition results in an increase of 60% in the storage capacity silicon-carbon core-shell nanocomposites represent a promising high storage capacity alternative to the current graphite-based lithium-ion battery anodes, while also overcoming the obstacles that prevent the use of silicon particles in energy storage applications.  Fig 1: High-resolution TEM images showing the high uniformity of the carbon coating wrapping a single silicon nanoparticle.  

Solid Electrolytes with Biomimetic Ionic Channels for Lithium-Metal Batteries

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have designed a new solid electrolyte material for lithium batteries, which enhances the energy density and battery stability.

Ambient-Pressure Regeneration Of Degraded Lithium-Ion Battery Cathodes Via Eutectic Solutions

Lithium‐ion batteries (LIBs) are currently the dominant power sources for portable electronics and electric vehicles, both of which have rapidly growing markets. Recycling and re‐use of end‐of‐life LIBs, to reclaim lithium and transition metal resources and eliminate pollution from disposal of waste batteries, have become urgent tasks. Great effort has been made to recycle LIB cathode materials. State‐of‐the‐art approaches include pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and direct recycling. The pyrometallurgical approach requires high temperature smelting as well as multi-step purification and separation processes; the hydrometallurgical approach requires acid leaching and subsequent complicated precipitation steps to produce precursors for the re-synthesis of new cathode materials. Both approaches have to totally destroy the LIB cathode particles which represent a significant amount of value from their primary manufacturing process. The direct recycling approach combines physical separation to harvest the cathode materials with high-pressure relithiation to regenerate cathode materials, where the high pressure process greatly increases the cost of regeneration.

A Family Of Hybrid Boosting Voltage Converters

Many industries, such as solar cells and energy storage, will be greatly benefited by high-gain step-up/step-down converters.UCI researchers have developed a family of hybrid boosting converters (HBC) that combine a base bipolar voltage multiplier (BVM) and one of several possible inductive switching cores to address various converter functionalities.

A Family Of Two-Switch Boosting Switched-Capacitor Converters (TBSC)

Switched capacitor converters, which provide high-gain voltage conversion, have drawbacks that have limited their use to specific applications. UCI researchers have developed a family of two-switch boosting switched-capacitor converters (TBSC) that enables the use of switched-capacitor converters in low cost and small-size applications as well as on-chip integration.

Multi-Point, Multi-Access Energy Storage

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel multi-point, multi-access thermal energy storage system.

Composite Membranes For Energy Storage Devices

Dendritic growth inside a high capacity electrochemical system can initiate self-discharge and a very dangerous set of reactions that result in cell temperatures reaching >500 °C within seconds of internal shorting. Thus, cell components are often designed with shut-off features that engage after shorting occurs and cell temperature begins to rise, but before a threshold temperature is reached (e.g. runaway temperature). For example, some separator membranes can be designed to collapse in response to high temperatures, blocking ion-flow and effectively shutting off the cell. However, this process is irreversible and will not prevent thermal runaway if a critical temperature is reached before proper shutoff can occur. Additionally, such membrane will have little effect if the short circuit occurs from separator penetration by a metallic dendrite. Reversible thermo-responsive membranes have been developed, but share similar drawbacks during internal shorting and rapid self-discharge.

Composite Electrodes For Electrochemical Energy Storage

Researchers at the UCLA Department of Physics & Astronomy have designed supercapacitors with enhanced energy density and power density properties.

Thermodynamic Integration Simulation Method for Filling Molecular Enclosures Using Spliced Soft-Core Interaction Potential

Researchers have developed a simulation method to determine the properties of molecular enclosures based on slow growth thermodynamic integration (SGTI).

Cephalopod-Inspired Adaptive Infrared Camouflage Materials and Systems

This technology is a new class of materials capable of thermal regulation and active camouflage. These cephalopod-inspired materials, configurable to different geometries, can be used in many sectors, ranging from consumer to industrial to military applications.

Ceramic And Metallic Cellular Structures Wtih Interconnected Microchannels

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering have developed cellular porous metallic and ceramic structures that can be used to increase the production and recovery of tritium for fusion power reactors or as a support for electrode materials.

A Method Of Making Carbon Coated Oxides As High-Performance Anode Materials

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a carbon-coated silicon nanoparticle-based electrode material for lithium-ion batteries with high energy density and long lifetime.  They have also developed a scalable fabrication method for this material.

Decentralized Charging Protocol for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Plug-in vehicles (PEVs) have drawn interest from government, automakers, and the public due to potential for reduced environmental impact. UCI researchers have developed a decentralized charging protocol for PEVs that results in improved stability in power grid demand.

Battery Energy Storage Control System

UCLA researchers have developed a battery energy storage system capable of both shifting power consumption pattern and shaping power consumption profile with minimal delay.

Fuel Cell With Dynamic Response Capability Based On Energy Storage Electrodes

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering have developed fuel cells with energy-storage capabilities.

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