Science for our
Energy Future

Energy Frontier Research Center

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The Modern Man Runs on Lithium Ion

The Lithium Ion,

Enabler of work and play.

Fueling our technology,

Modern lives dysfunctional without.


Humans navigate through life,

Our Ions trek to and fro,

Their environment dynamically morphing,

Never the same. Peer closer.


A complex journey:

Surfaces crack,

           Structures expand,

                      Barriers form,

                                 New paths revealed.

But where are our ions?


Searching by the light of X-rays,

Striking with ions and electrons,

Protecting, modeling, understanding.

We study the mysteries of Lithium Ion.

About the Image: 

Images inset into the upper battery schematic include (left) an SEM image of a sputtered LiMn2O4 thin film and (right) a TEM image of a Ni/NiO multi-bilayer film. Both systems are potential next-generation electrodes for lithium-ion batteries that are being actively researched within CEES.  The average LiMn2O4 crystallite size is approximately 50 nm while the Ni and NiO layers are each 5 nm thick.

Bruno Giuliano Nicolau (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Kimberly Lundberg (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), and Fernando Castro (Northwestern University)

EFRC: Center for Electrochemical Energy Science (CEES)