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Frontiers in Energy Research: Winter 2015
  • Timothy Plett

    We all have our wish list for batteries. But batteries are compromises, balancing cost, longevity, energy, speed, and so forth. Scientists at the Energy Frontier Research Centers are seeking to minimize these trade-offs through new techniques that study and protect lithium-ion batteries...

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    These representations of lithium discharge simulations show the uneven distribution of lithium in the active material within the electrode at different extents of discharge during the first cycle. The top images focus on how much lithium is contained in possible holding sites, with blue indicating full sites and red indicating depleted sites. The bottom focuses on the electrolyte concentration, which is a source of free lithium ions to conduct the battery charging. Each image shows a different stage of the battery's discharge cycle, from left to right, (a,e) 7 percent; (b,f) 24 percent; (c,g) 47 percent; and (d,h) 63 percent (that is, there is more lithium in active material from left to right).

Feature Articles
Research Highlights
  • Zachary A. Morseth

    Wrapping up catalysts and light absorbers creates an assembly that can turn light into fuel...

  • Sameer Patwardhan

    Thought to be insulators, certain frameworks actually conduct electricity and can tolerate rough conditions, making them a promising material for turning sunlight into fuel...

  • Corinne Dorais

    Using a thin, copper-based mesh produces a solar cell that is more efficient and flexible than its counterpart...

  • Lauren Garten

    A state-of-the-science article shows what can be done with a new X-ray tool that offers never-before-seen details about superconductors...

  • S. Garrett Williams

    Turning sunlight into fuels is a dance that has quite intricate steps. Now, scientists have a new way to delve into how it all begins...

  • Ryan Patet

    Too little and the carbon dioxide isn't captured. Too much and plugs form. The just-right amount didn't exist. It came down to changing...

Editor's Note

Some days, it’s about the journey—the dreaming, the planning, the adventures you have along the way. It’s the fantastic Italian restaurant you find because you got lost walking back to your hotel. Or the discoveries scientists make and the inspirations that lead them to dedicate their careers to research. Such as working to replace a brittle metal in a solar cell and finding out you may be closer to solar panels that could be rolled up like a rug. Or studying carbon capture and finding out that the problem isn’t what everyone said it was. This issue of Frontiers in Energy Research offers you a chance to read about the diverse backgrounds, concerns, and discoveries made as the scientists journey to the energy frontiers and beyond. 

Editorial Board

Kirsten Chojnicki, Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security
Corinne Dorais, Materials Science of Actinides Center
Lauren Garten, Center for Next Generation of Materials by Design: Incorporating Metastability
Michelle Harris, Argonne-Northwestern University Solar Energy Research Center
Nare Janvelyan, Integrated Mesoscale Architectures for Sustainable Catalysis
Ke Jin, Energy Dissipation to Defect Evolution
Rhesa Ledbetter, Center for Biological Electron Transfer and Catalysis
Zachary Morseth, Center for Solar Fuels
Ryan Patet, Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation
Tim Plett, Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage Energy Frontier Research Center
Nate Thomas, Light-Materials Interactions Energy Frontier Research Center
Garrett Williams, Center for Biological Electron Transfer and Catalysis

Kristin Manke, Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, Editor-in-Chief

Guest Writer

Sameer Patwardhan, Argonne-Northwestern University Solar Energy Research Center

Disclaimer: The opinions in this newsletter are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views or position of the Department of Energy.