Microstructure Modeling of Rechargeable Lithium-ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are widely used as an energy storage device in portable electronic devices and in electric/hybrid vehicles. My reasearch involves studying the microstructural aspects in Li-ion batteries, especially the thermodyanamics and the kinetics of the various electrochemical phenomena that occur within the battery. We often hear incidents of failures and accidents with Li-ion batteries. The goal of my research is to understand some of these failure mechanisms, and to address them in order to improve the performance and reliability of the battery.
One of the main problems in Li-ion batteries is the formation of ‘dendrites’. Dendrites are metallic protrusions in the order of few micrometers in length that develop on the surface of the anode during fast charging, and they might extend to the cathode causing a short circuit, often leading to catastrophic failures of the battery. Dendrites form under high current densities during charging the battery, and are found to penetrate the separator leading to a risk of short circuiting the battery. Analyzing the themodynamic and kinetic conditions that favour the formation of dendrites, I try to suppress the growth of the dendrite by designing suitable separators in order to prevent Li-ion batteries from short-circuit related failures.
During my undergraduate studies at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, I worked on a project to synthesize cathode materials for Li-ion batteries. The project soon led to a startup that I co-founded to fabricate Li-ion batteries indigenously. However, after two years and the startup not doing well, I felt that I lacked the knowledge required to innovate in the field of energy storage. In fall 2013, I joined Prof. R. Edwin García’s group in the School of Materials Engineering to study microstructure modeling of Li-ion battteries. The Computational Science and Engineering program, in which I am simultaneously enrolled, has proved to be an excellent curriculum to enhance my mathematical and programming expertise that is required for my research on a daily basis.
- Certificate of Excellence in Research Award, Office of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Spring Reception, Purdue University, 2014
- 2nd in Oral Presentation, Purdue Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Computational Science and Engineering Student Conference 2014
- Lynn Fellowship, Computational Science & Engineering, Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, Purdue University, 2013