After learning more about how other researchers were using thermal analysis, rheology, and microcalorimetry in different applications, Chibueze Amanchukwu, Principal Investigator of the Amanchukwu Laboratory and Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, investigated how he could apply the same technology to his research in the design and synthesis of novel electrolyte media.
The Amanchukwu Laboratory in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at University of Chicago works to creatively solve energy-related challenges, particularly energy storage and electrocatalysis. The group focuses on the design and synthesis of novel solid state and liquid electrolyte media, as well as the study of electrolyte instability and ionic transport phenomena for applications in batteries and electrocatalysis.
Within energy storage and electrocatalytic devices, electrolytes are a vital component that support ionic and molecular transport. Borrowing concepts from chemistry and tools from biology, the laboratory’s scientists aim to control interfacial phenomena at the electrode:electrolyte interface and understand degradation mechanisms. The team uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and molecular dynamics (MD) to study ionic transport behavior and ion solvation environment, respectively. The Amanchukwu group also collaborates with Argonne National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, to use advanced characterization tools for in situ and operando understanding of energy devices.