The Research at MAPLES
MAPLES infrastructure is used to tackle the fundamental electrochemical challenges related to two key research thrusts: energy storage and energy conversion. These research projects seek to generate pivotal knowledge to drive electrochemically enabled technologies to new levels of performance by focusing the platform capabilities on electroactive materials and surface processes.
As a researcher, if some of the themes listed below intersecting with your interests or field of activity, we are open to collaborating with you. Contact us to discuss how we can join forces.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most widely used energy storage means. Their widespread use has been facilitated by key performance improvements of high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities, which have also resulted in cells capable of delivering upwards of 220 Wh/g. Despite technology developments, new advances are required to drive Li-ion batteries beyond current chemical limitations.
Breakthroughs in this field by improving overall energy performance of batteries (which can only be achieved by examining and understanding the interplay of these electroactive components) and by developing innovative materials is wanted. Five research subjects are underway:
Supercapacitors (i.e., electrochemical capacitors ; ECs) are high-powered devices which are well suited as complementary storage systems to batteries, as they can sustain more charge/discharge cycles than rechargeable batteries, and their charge/discharge rates are also much faster than those of conventional batteries. New materials are required to increase the energy density of ECs, extend their operating voltage, and prolong the charge-discharge cycles. Fully understanding the structural elements and electrochemical processes that govern their capacitance will result in new, high-performance ECs. The research activities about supercapacitors evolve around three axes:
Interfacial electrochemical reactions, including on surfaces, thin films, and membranes, are important for energy conversion in electrocatalytic systems. A major driving force of electrocatalytic systems is the conversion of unwanted species to higher-energy products for energy storage and their subsequent release. The unwanted product that we focus on is carbon dioxide. The goal is to electrochemically reduce carbon dioxide to energy-storing products for subsequent oxidation to power a carbon-neutral fuel cell. Electrocatalyst development is paramount to increase their efficiency, reduce conversion reaction overvoltage, and prevent energy losses.
Emerging Organic Technologies
Plastic electronics are flexible, stretchable electronic devices which use organic materials as their electroactive components. The key benefits of plastic electronics include their large-area production using conventional printing techniques, and textile integration for wearable devices. Recent advances in the preparation of materials with mixed ionic and electronic transport hold promise for the development of new plastic electronics, such as
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