Seminar: Dr Dong Jun Kim - Designing Redox-Active Molecules for Rechargeable Batteries – Recent Progress and Future Directions

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 - 10:00am – Tuesday, 20 March 2018 - 11:00am  |  CHEMSCI M11

Speaker: Dr Dong Jun Kim

Rechargeable batteries impact our everyday lives and play a critical role in meeting modern energy demands, while also holding out promise for a more sustainable future by facilitating the utilisation of energy from renewable sources. Amongst many different rechargeable ones, lithium-ion batteries have become ubiquitous in today's world, delivering spectacular performance in applications, ranging from portable electronic devices to electric vehicles. Nevertheless, conventional materials employed in commercial lithium-ion batteries rely on non-renewable sources of rare metals, a situation which is not desirable from a long-term environmental perspective. Hence, new strategies are needed in order to develop next generation energy storage systems based on more sustainable and low-cost materials. Organic rechargeable batteries, composed of redox-active molecules, are emerging candidates for the next generation of energy storage materials on account of their large specific capacities, cost-effectiveness, and abundance of raw materials when compared with conventional lithium-ion batteries. While recent investigations of redox-active compounds have shown improved electrochemical performances, the challenges still exist from the utilisation of the organic electrodes in the practical perspective. This seminar will describe the efforts to effectively delocalises electrons during lithiation events in battery operations that result in a single well-defined voltage profile compared to a discrete multiple voltage plateau observed for an acyclic reference molecule. In separate pursuit, a new strategy of designing active materials for rechargeable aluminium-ion batteries will also be presented. The strategy entails arranging redox-active molecules into the rigidly layered constitution in order to intercalate aluminum ions reversibly. This finding lay the groundwork for future design and operation of aluminium-ion batteries and represent a promising starting point for developing affordable large-scale energy storage applications.