Energy storage and energy transformation materials are at the heart of the energy transition. Owing to the ever-increasing demand regarding performance metrics for modern materials, the underlying physics and chemistry is becoming increasingly complex, and their parameter space is enormous. Here, one example are ion batteries. While the electronic revolution was initiated by lithium ion batteries three decades ago, these materials still need to be improved in order to meet the world’s energy demand while conserving the planet. Furthermore, many basic physicochemical aspects of these energy storage devices still puzzle researchers.
We utilize advanced atomic/molecular-scale techniques to elucidate the basic physicochemical processes underlying the functionality of energy related materials. Our approach to tackle these questions is of reductionist nature, in which we take one step back from the device level, and investigate structural and chemical properties of materials employing simple and well-defined model systems. From this, we envision to obtain a predictive understanding that can be translated to provide rational knowledge-based design rules for improved materials. For a successful implementation of the latter approach, scalable knowledge spanning all time- and length-scales involved, ranging from picoseconds to years, and Ångstroms to meters, is desired.
Specific research topics of the Steinrück group are:
- Interfacial (electro)chemistry in energy storage materials
- Development of model systems for advanced characterization of dynamic processes at the atomic scale
- Understanding ion transport in electrolytes via advanced synchrotron techniques
- Ion adsorption and intercalation in desalination technologies for clean water
For details, please visit AK Steinrück Research