Our research focuses on understanding the chemistry that underpins advanced batteries and how this understanding can be used to unlock a new generation of energy storage technologies. The approach combines electrochemistry and a range of operando analytical methods.
Next Generation Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionised energy storage and the modern world. Demand is expected to exceed 400 GWh per annum by 2025. This mature technology is now a limiting factor in the performance of electric vehicles and portable electronics. Developing a new generation of energy storage devices able to provide improved energy, power, cost and sustainability metrics is a critical challenge for the UK. Notably, the UK’s industrial strategy aims to make battery manufacturing and electrification of the automotive sector a major strand of the future UK industrial portfolio. Our research focuses on understanding the chemistry that underpins advanced batteries and how this understanding can be used to unlock a new generation of energy storage technologies for electrification of the automotive sector. The target is to enable alternative, sustainable technologies that can supersede the lithium-ion battery. Our approach to address these challenges combines materials chemistry and electrochemistry and is delivered in collaboration with leading stakeholders in the energy storage sector, including the Faraday Institution and the SUPERGEN energy storage hub.
Research in our group focuses on the synthesis of organic, inorganic and hybrid molecular systems for applications in small molecule conversion, energy storage, photo-catalysis and the development of functional materials.
Employing a bottom-up approach to molecular design, we can link simple building blocks with clearly defined physical properties, to construct sophisticated systems whose performance (reactivity, photo-response, stability…) can exceed that of their isolated components.
One such example is in our development of multi-component systems for the efficient conversion of carbon dioxide to feedstocks and fuels. Current approaches in our group involve the use of organically-hybridized polyoxometalates (POMs) as conjugated electron/proton reservoirs for catalytic transition metal-based antenna groups, and the development of multinuclear transition metal clusters with distinct substrate capture and catalysis sites.
Projects in our group involve the use of electrochemical
methods for solving a range of chemical problems. We are
particularly interested in developing electrochemical methods that will support the move towards net-zero carbon emissions, and we develop advanced materials for clean energy-conversion devices such as lithium batteries, H2 fuel cells, water electrolysers, and supercapacitors.