Researchers Seek To Develop Better, More Efficient Batteries

Image:  Texas A&M Engineering Communications/Justin Baetge

As the need increases for more powerful and efficient batteries to support developing technologies, Texas A&M University assistant professor of mechanical engineering Dr. Matt Pharr is working to do just that: a pursuit that could have wide-ranging impacts in several areas, including sustainable energy, transportation and personal electronics.

Along with his team, Pharr said he is seeking to discover advances to rechargeable, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries by exploring possible solutions to the mechanical degradation suffered during use.

To help with his project, Pharr was one of four researchers recently selected for a gift awarded by the Applied Mechanics Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to support the theoretical and applied mechanics research of new faculty members.

Used as the power source for popular items, including power tools, electric vehicles and portable electronics, lithium-ion batteries have seen widespread adoption throughout industry.

However, several other materials – including sulfur, silicon and germanium – are known to be able to provide a larger capacity than the current design, though not without significant drawbacks like significant mechanical degradation, making them impractical for use at this time.

Read more at Department of Mechanical Engineering