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NanoEngineering Department at UC San Diego Receives $2.1M Gift from the Aiiso Yufeng Li Family

NanoEngineering Department at UC San Diego Receives $2.1M Gift from the Aiiso Yufeng Li Family

February 21, 2024

Nanoengineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Aiiso Yufeng Li (Jeff), and his family, have pledged a $2.1M gift to the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. The gift will support research, education and student activities in the Department of NanoEngineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering.   Full Story


$3 Million Gift from CorDx to Boost Sustainable Energy Innovation at UC San Diego

$3 Million Gift from CorDx to Boost Sustainable Energy Innovation at UC San Diego

February 8, 2024

Through his company CorDx, entrepreneur and philanthropist Aiiso Yufeng Li (Jeff) and Dongdong Guo (Doreen) have pledged $3 million to the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. The gift will support leading-edge research, education and collaborations in our Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC).  Full Story


UC San Diego Nanoengineering and Chemical Engineering Professor Sheng Xu Named Finalist for Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

UC San Diego Nanoengineering and Chemical Engineering Professor Sheng Xu Named Finalist for Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

August 7, 2023

University of California San Diego nanoengineering and chemical engineering professor Sheng Xu has been named a Finalist for the 2023 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. This nationwide awards program celebrates the most innovative, faculty-ranked scientists and engineers in the United States who are under the age of 42.    Full Story


One Step Closer to Lithium Metal Batteries that Function with Minimal External Pressure

One Step Closer to Lithium Metal Batteries that Function with Minimal External Pressure

August 3, 2023

A team of battery researchers led by UC San Diego has developed a new methodology to produce the potentially game-changing thin-film solid-state electrolyte called lithium phosphorus oxynitride (LiPON). The team went on to implement their free-standing version of LiPON film in functional battery tests and found that it promotes a uniformly dense lithium metal electrochemical deposition under zero external pressure, with the aid of internal compressive stress and a gold seeding layer.  Full Story


UC San Diego Startup Wins $2.4 Million Defense Department Contract to Improve Battery Performance

UC San Diego Startup Wins $2.4 Million Defense Department Contract to Improve Battery Performance

May 23, 2023

Ateios Systems, a battery materials innovation company started by two UC San Diego alumni, announced recently that it has been awarded $2.4 million by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to help improve battery material performance and production. This effort will support a variety of critical military applications. Full Story


Probing lithium ions near a solid's surface reveals clues to boost solid-state battery performance

Probing lithium ions near a solid's surface reveals clues to boost solid-state battery performance

April 28, 2023

Using computer simulations and X-ray experiments, researchers could "see" in detail why lithium ions move slowly in a solid-state battery—specifically, at the electrolyte-electrode interface. The work could lead to new strategies to enhance ionic conductivity in solid-state batteries. Full Story


Moving perovskite solar cell advancements from the lab to the manufacturing floor

Moving perovskite solar cell advancements from the lab to the manufacturing floor

April 20, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office announced that a team of researchers, led by MIT and including the University of California San Diego, has been selected to receive a $11.25M cost-shared award to establish a new research center that will advance the development of next-generation solar cells for commercial use. Full Story


SPEC Battery Boot Camp 2023

SPEC Battery Boot Camp 2023

March 9, 2023

Applicaitons are open to participate in the summer 2023 Battery Boot Camp run by the Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC) at UC San Diego. The summer camp will introduce the fundamental design principles and operation mechanisms of lithium-ion batteries, as well as techniques to fabricate them and to evaluate their performance. The application deadline is April 8, 2023. Full Story


Progress Toward Fast-charging Lithium-metal Batteries

Progress Toward Fast-charging Lithium-metal Batteries

February 9, 2023

UC San Diego engineers report progress toward lithium-metal batteries that charge fast – as fast as an hour. This fast charging is thanks to lithium metal crystals that can be seeded and grown quickly into dense layers of uniform lithium metal that lack battery-performance-degrading spikes called dendrites.   Full Story


2022 Research Highlights

2022 Research Highlights

December 20, 2022

From tools to track the origin and spread of COVID-19, to making homes safer in earthquakes, to using smartphones as diagnostic tools, researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering pioneered important work in 2022. A few highlights of our outstanding research this year are here. Full Story


Scientists at UC San Diego Receive $10M Department of Energy Grant to Promote Battery Recycling

Scientists at UC San Diego Receive $10M Department of Energy Grant to Promote Battery Recycling

December 8, 2022

A team including scientists at the University of California San Diego has been chosen to lead a $10M project to promote battery recycling and reuse. It’s part of a $74M award from the United States Department of Energy program on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for ten programs that are at the forefront of battery recycling technology for electric vehicles.  Full Story


Setting the stage for solid-state battery success

Setting the stage for solid-state battery success

August 2, 2022

Battery researchers and other engineers from University of California San Diego, with collaboration from the LG Energy Solution, have published a forward-looking perspective article in the journal Joule. In the article, the researchers outline three categories of engineering challenges that must be solved in order to transition all-solid-state batteries from the laboratory toward large-scale industrial manufacturing. These three challenges are that of precursors, processing and pressure.   Full Story


These energy-packed batteries work well in extreme cold and heat

These energy-packed batteries work well in extreme cold and heat

July 4, 2022

Researchers developed lithium-ion batteries that perform well at freezing cold and scorching hot temperatures, while packing a lot of energy. This could help electric cars travel farther on a single charge in the cold and reduce the need for cooling systems for the cars' batteries in hot climates. Full Story


One step closer to fire safe, recyclable lithium-metal batteries

One step closer to fire safe, recyclable lithium-metal batteries

June 16, 2022

A team of nanoengineers from UC San Diego demonstrated inherently fire safe liquefied gas electrolytes, as well as a one-step solvent-recycling process which promises sustainable operation at scale, in a Nature Energy paper published on June 16. This work provides a route to sustainable, temperature-resilient lithium-metal batteries with fire-extinguishing properties that maintain state-of-the-art electrochemical performance. Full Story


Researchers transform an amorphous solid into a new lithium-ion battery material

Researchers transform an amorphous solid into a new lithium-ion battery material

May 2, 2022

Researchers at UC San Diego and Boise State University have developed a new approach to making novel lithium-ion battery materials. The approach transforms a non-crystalline material into a crystalline anode material with exceptional battery properties—by cycling it with lithium.  Full Story


10 Jacobs School faculty among 2021 list of most highly cited researchers in the world

10 Jacobs School faculty among 2021 list of most highly cited researchers in the world

November 30, 2021

Ten professors at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are among the world’s most influential researchers in their fields. The professors, Ludmil Alexandrov, Trey Ideker, Rob Knight, Prashant Mali, Ying Shirley Meng, Shyue Ping Ong, Bernhard O. Palsson, Joseph Wang, Sheng Xu and Liangfang Zhang, are amone 51 professors and researchers at UC San Diego named in the prestigious list of Highly Cited Researchers in 2021. Full Story


Researchers determine optimum pressure to improve the performance of lithium metal batteries

Researchers determine optimum pressure to improve the performance of lithium metal batteries

October 18, 2021

A team of materials scientists  and chemists has determined the proper stack pressure that lithium metal batteries, or LMBs, need to be subjected to during battery operation in order to produce optimal performance. The team, which includes researchers from the University of California San Diego, Michigan State University, Idaho National Laboratory and the General Motors Research and Development Center, presents their findings in the Oct. 18 issue of Nature Energy.   Full Story


DOE awards UC San Diego nanoengineers $1.25M to improve batteries for EVs

DOE awards UC San Diego nanoengineers $1.25M to improve batteries for EVs

September 27, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $1.25 million to nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego to improve the electrolytes that carry ions in lithium-sulfur batteries. The researchers will partner with General Motors and Ampcera Inc, a solid-state battery materials and technology company.    Full Story


A new solid-state battery surprises the researchers who created it

A new solid-state battery surprises the researchers who created it

September 23, 2021

Engineers created a new type of battery that weaves two promising battery sub-fields into a single battery. The battery uses both a solid state electrolyte and an all-silicon anode, making it a silicon all-solid-state battery. The initial rounds of tests show that the new battery is safe, long lasting, and energy dense. It holds promise for a wide range of applications from grid storage to electric vehicles.    Full Story


UC San Diego nanoengineers receive $2.7M NSF grant to make battery manufacturing waste-free

UC San Diego nanoengineers receive $2.7M NSF grant to make battery manufacturing waste-free

September 1, 2021

A team led by nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an eco-friendly and low-cost manufacturing process for sodium all-solid-state batteries. The process will be used to create large-scale energy storage systems—for buildings, electric grids, and wind and solar farms—that are more efficient, affordable and safe. Full Story


Stabilizing gassy electrolytes could make ultra-low temperature batteries safer

Stabilizing gassy electrolytes could make ultra-low temperature batteries safer

June 7, 2021

A new technology could dramatically improve the safety and performance of lithium-ion batteries that operate with gas electrolytes at ultra-low temperatures. By keeping electrolytes from vaporizing, the technology can prevent pressure buildup inside the battery that leads to swelling and explosions. Full Story


Weakness is strength for this low-temperature battery

Weakness is strength for this low-temperature battery

February 25, 2021

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have discovered new fundamental insights for developing lithium metal batteries that perform well at ultra-low temperatures; mainly, that the weaker the electrolyte holds on to lithium ions, the better. By using such a weakly binding electrolyte, the researchers developed a lithium metal battery that can be repeatedly recharged at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius—a first in the field. Full Story


New material is next step toward stable high-voltage long-life solid-state sodium-ion batteries

New material is next step toward stable high-voltage long-life solid-state sodium-ion batteries

February 23, 2021

A team of researchers designed and manufactured a new sodium-ion conductor for solid-state sodium-ion batteries that is stable when incorporated into higher-voltage oxide cathodes. This new solid electrolyte could dramatically improve the efficiency and lifespan of this class of batteries. A proof of concept battery built with the new material lasted over 1000 cycles while retaining 89.3% of its capacity--a performance unmatched by other solid-state sodium batteries to date.    Full Story


This flexible and rechargeable battery is 10 times more powerful than state of the art

This flexible and rechargeable battery is 10 times more powerful than state of the art

December 10, 2020

A team of researchers has developed a flexible, rechargeable silver oxide-zinc battery with a five to 10 times greater areal energy density than state of the art. The battery also is easier to manufacture; while most flexible batteries need to be manufactured in sterile conditions, under vacuum, this one can be screen printed in normal lab conditions. The device can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics. Full Story


10 Jacobs School Faculty Named in 2020 List of Highly Cited Researchers

10 Jacobs School Faculty Named in 2020 List of Highly Cited Researchers

December 8, 2020

Ten professors at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are among the world’s most influential researchers in their fields, according to a new research citation report from the Web of Science Group. The professors, Ludmil Alexandrov, Trey Ideker, Rob Knight, Nathan E. Lewis, Prashant Mali, Ying Shirley Meng, Bernhard O. Palsson, Joseph Wang, Kun Zhang and Liangfang Zhang, are amone 52 professors and researchers at UC San Diego named in the prestigious list of Highly Cited Researchers in 2020. Full Story


Environmentally friendly method could lower costs to recycle lithium-ion batteries

Environmentally friendly method could lower costs to recycle lithium-ion batteries

November 12, 2020

A new process for restoring spent cathodes to mint condition could make it more economical to recycle lithium-ion batteries. The process, developed by nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego, is more environmentally friendly than today’s methods; it uses greener ingredients, consumes 80 to 90% less energy, and emits about 75% less greenhouse gases. Full Story


$39 Million to better integrate renewables into power grid

$39 Million to better integrate renewables into power grid

October 28, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded $39 million to a team of engineers and computer scientists at the University of California San Diego to build a first-of-its-kind testbed to better understand how to integrate distributed energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, smart buildings and electric vehicle batteries into the power grid. The goal is to make the testbed available to outside research teams and industry by 2025.    Full Story


UC San Diego Launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

UC San Diego Launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

October 9, 2020

Climate change, public health and equal access to food and water are some of the biggest challenges facing humanity--and materials science can help provide solutions for them all. That was the message researchers shared during the launch of the Institute for Materials Discovery and Design (IMDD) at the University of California San Diego, held virtually Sept. 29. Full Story


Toward all-solid-state lithium metal batteries

Toward all-solid-state lithium metal batteries

September 17, 2020

New work published in September 2020 in the journal Joule, led by researchers in the lab of UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng, will help explain this stability. In particular, the work unravels some of the mystery of the interface between lithium metal and LiPON. Full Story


New anode material could lead to safer fast-charging batteries

New anode material could lead to safer fast-charging batteries

September 2, 2020

Scientists at UC San Diego have discovered a new anode material that enables lithium-ion batteries to be safely recharged within minutes for thousands of cycles. Full Story


Rare Glassy Metal Discovered During Quest to Improve Battery Performance

Rare Glassy Metal Discovered During Quest to Improve Battery Performance

July 24, 2020

Scientists from UC San Diego and Idaho National Laboratory scrutinized the earliest stages of lithium recharging and learned that slow, low-energy charging causes electrodes to collect atoms in a disorganized way that improves charging behavior. This noncrystalline “glassy” lithium had never been observed, and creating such amorphous metals has traditionally been extremely difficult.  Full Story


Green method could enable hospitals to produce hydrogen peroxide in house

Green method could enable hospitals to produce hydrogen peroxide in house

May 1, 2020

A team of researchers has developed a portable, more environmentally friendly method to produce hydrogen peroxide. It could enable hospitals to make their own supply of the disinfectant on demand and at lower cost. Full Story


New SPEC video

New SPEC video

April 30, 2020

New video highlights the incredible opportunities for students working on sustainable energy projects through the Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC) at UC San Diego. Full Story


UC San Diego battery pioneer Shirley Meng earns Faraday Medal from Royal Society of Chemistry

UC San Diego battery pioneer Shirley Meng earns Faraday Medal from Royal Society of Chemistry

April 6, 2020

Congratulations to UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng, who has earned the 2020 Faraday Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Meng is a leader in materials characterization and synthesis, including development of novel battery technologies that are driving a low-carbon, more sustainable future.    Full Story


Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

March 13, 2020

UC San Diego nanoengineers offer a research roadmap describing four challenges that need to be addressed in order to advance a promising class of batteries, all-solid-state batteries, to commercialization. The researchers describe their work to tackle these challenges over the past three years. Full Story


'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

March 12, 2020

UC San Diego nanoengineers developed a safety feature that prevents lithium metal batteries from rapidly overheating and catching fire in case of an internal short circuit. The clever tweak does not prevent battery failure, but rather provides advance warning of failure and makes it much safer. Full Story


Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

January 9, 2020

A new method could enable researchers to build more efficient, longer lasting perovskite solar cells and LEDs. By growing thin perovskite films on different substrates, UC San Diego engineers invented a way of fabricating perovskite single crystals with precisely deformed, or strained, structures. Full Story


Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

August 21, 2019

UC San Diego researchers have discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail, challenging a long-held belief in the field. The study presents new ways to boost battery performance and brings research a step closer to incorporating lithium anodes into rechargeable batteries.  Full Story


Y. Shirley Meng Named Editor-in-Chief of MRS Energy & Sustainability

Y. Shirley Meng Named Editor-in-Chief of MRS Energy & Sustainability

July 29, 2019

UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Y. Shirley Meng has been named Editor-in-Chief of the journal MRS Energy & Sustainability. Full Story


Three UC San Diego Engineering Professors Receive Presidential Early Career Awards

Three UC San Diego Engineering Professors Receive Presidential Early Career Awards

July 3, 2019

Three faculty members at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering have been named recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. Full Story


A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges in San Diego

A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges in San Diego

July 1, 2019

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 – liquefied gas electrolytes – could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable batteries: replacing the graphite anode with a lithium-metal anode. The research, published July 1, 2019 by the journal Joule, builds on innovations first reported in Science in 2017 by the same research group at the University of California San Diego and the university spinout South 8 Technologies. Full Story


Shirley Meng among finalists for Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

Shirley Meng among finalists for Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

May 29, 2019

University of California San Diego nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng is among the Finalists of the 2019 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. She is one of 31 of the nation?s rising stars in science who will compete for three Blavatnik National Laureate Awards in the categories of Chemistry, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Life Sciences Full Story


Wearable cooling and heating patch could serve as personal thermostat and save energy

Wearable cooling and heating patch could serve as personal thermostat and save energy

May 17, 2019

UC San Diego engineers have developed a wearable patch that could provide personalized cooling and heating at home, work, or on the go. The soft, stretchy patch cools or warms a user’s skin to a comfortable temperature and keeps it there as the ambient temperature changes. It is powered by a flexible, stretchable battery pack and can be embedded in clothing. Researchers say wearing it could help save energy on air conditioning and heating. Full Story


Researchers improve method to recycle and renew used cathodes from lithium-ion batteries

Researchers improve method to recycle and renew used cathodes from lithium-ion batteries

April 17, 2019

UC San Diego researchers have improved their recycling process that regenerates degraded cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries. The new process is safer and uses less energy than their previous method in restoring cathodes to their original capacity and cycle performance. Full Story


Faculty celebrated for extraordinary teaching, research and service

Faculty celebrated for extraordinary teaching, research and service

April 4, 2019

Three Jacobs School of Engineering faculty are among the six UC San Diego faculty members who will be honored at the 45th annual Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for innovative research, extraordinary teaching and making a difference in the community. Full Story


UC San Diego Part of DOE's First Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling R&D Center

UC San Diego Part of DOE's First Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling R&D Center

February 15, 2019

UC San Diego is a collaborator in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) first lithium-ion battery recycling research and development (R&D) initiative, called the ReCell Center, which was launched today. Zheng Chen, a professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego and faculty member of the university’s Sustainable Power and Energy Center, is working on a recycling process to restore used cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries so they can be used to build new batteries. Full Story


X-rays reveal why adding a bit of salt improves perovskite solar cells

X-rays reveal why adding a bit of salt improves perovskite solar cells

February 7, 2019

New findings about perovskites could pave the way to developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. Using high-intensity X-ray mapping, researchers explain why adding small amounts of cesium and rubidium salt improves the performance of perovskite solar cells.  Full Story


Combined economic and technological evaluation of battery energy storage for grid applications

Combined economic and technological evaluation of battery energy storage for grid applications

December 3, 2018

A new study offers a combined chemistry-and-economics approach that should make it easier to identify which kinds of batteries are best suited for integrating into the energy grid and making it financially viable. The approach combines analyses on multiple variables including battery chemistry, the tasks the batteries will be performing most often, energy pricing and market rules. Full Story


Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials

Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials

September 18, 2018

Artificial neural networks—algorithms inspired by connections in the brain—have “learned” to perform a variety of tasks, from pedestrian detection in self-driving cars, to analyzing medical images, to translating languages. Now, researchers at the University of California San Diego are training artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials. Full Story


UC San Diego receives award from Energy Department for battery research in advanced vehicle technologies

UC San Diego receives award from Energy Department for battery research in advanced vehicle technologies

September 13, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $2.5 million to a team led by the University of California San Diego for battery research in advanced vehicle technologies. The project is aimed at developing cobalt-free cathode materials for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. Shirley Meng, a professor of nanoengineering and the director of the Sustainable Power and Energy Center at UC San Diego, is the lead investigator on the project. The team involves Maxwell Technologies, a San Diego-based company that develops and manufactures energy storage and power delivery solutions. Full Story


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