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  • Award Highlights Originality and Technical Excellence in Battery Research
    Charles Hatchett Award 2019 winners with Gianntonnio Cibin

Award Highlights Originality and Technical Excellence in Battery Research

Oct 05 2019 Read 710 Times

For their work into increasing the capacity and reducing the charging time of Li-ion batteries, researchers from the University of Cambridge, Diamond Light Source and the Advanced Photon Source (US) were awarded the 2019 Charles Hatchett Award.  Given for originality and technical excellence and the best paper* on the science and technology of niobium-based materials, the winners were announced as Kent J. Griffith (UK), Kamila M. Wiaderek (USA),  Giannantonio Cibin (UK), Lauren E. Marbella (UK) and Clare P. Grey (UK).  

The Cambridge team studied the nobium tungsten Oxides, a material able to store an unexpectedly large quantity of energy using the Core X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) beamline (B18) at Diamond to investigate the chemical changes that occur in these materials.

The team’s results showed that both niobium and tungsten ions are able to store ‘extra’ charge in the battery, beyond what is usually expected, and that they work together. This is different from many battery materials containing multiple types of ion, where they are usually not active at the same time and some are not active at all. The new battery material is designed to be used as the negative electrode (anode), and to work with

Principal Beamline Scientist, Giannantonio Cibin at Diamond explained: “We need to develop new electrode materials for batteries which will improve both charge/discharge rates and increase storage capacities. This is really important for growing markets such as electric vehicles, portable appliances and large-scale energy storage. This research highlights why two complex niobium-tungsten oxides show higher energy and power densities than those in battery materials currently available.” 

The International Panel for the Charles Hatchett Award commented, “This paper deals with a very important research topic with potential commercial applications involving the use of niobium: how to significantly increase the capacity and reduce the charging time of Li-ion batteries. The research used a very wide range of experimental methods, producing extensive experimental data. The potential applications of the technology could have clear sustainability-related impacts by promoting the use of non-carbon energy storage and usage.”

The annual Award, now in its 41st year, is sponsored by CBMM and administered by Beta Technology. The award winners were presented with their medals at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) 2019 Premier Awards Dinner, held in London.

*Published in Nature: ‘Niobium Tungsten Oxides for High-rate Lithium-ion Energy Storage’ Nature, 559 (2018), 556-563

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