Sometimes all it takes is 140 characters to get groundbreaking research noticed. “Prof. William Chueh’s team @Stanford probes #nanoscale secrets of rechargeable #batteries.”
The tweet must have reached the Twitter feed of the folks at BASF and Volkswagen International because they awarded the BASF Volkswagen International “Science Award Electrochemistry 2016” to William Chueh, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and a center fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy.
William Chueh was cited for attaining a “new level of understanding for diverse fundamental battery dynamics with limit battery rate capability and life cycle.”
“His insights are paving the way for further improving lithium-ion batteries and significantly enhancing their performance,” according to the committee. “By visualizing electrochemical reactions as they take place on length scales ranging from tens of microns down to sub-nanometer, (he) has delivered unprecedented insights into the design of functional materials with novel compositions and structures.”
Along with the award, Chueh receives prize money of $50,000.
At Stanford, Chueh, along with his Chueh Group, explores efficient electrochemical routes for converting solar energy to chemical fuels and subsequently to electricity. The group also develops next-generation electrochemical energy storage materials.
“We take a rational approach toward materials discovery and optimization. Using powerful electron, X-ray and optical microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, we visualize electrochemical reactions as they place on length scales ranging from tens of microns down to sub-nm,” Chueh explains on his website.
Knowledge of electrochemical processes and their application in the field of materials, battery cells or storage systems is key to developing future energy storage devices. Without these technologies, it is not possible to provide climate and resource-saving power supplies using regenerative energy or to achieve future drive concepts such as electric mobility, according to BASF and Volkswagen.
“The science of electrochemistry is a key research field for sustainable future mobility. Therefore, we need top-notch R&D around the globe performed by excellent researchers who inspire each other and lead their scientific communities to constantly develop new and better solutions,” says Martin Brudermuller, vice chairman of the board of executive directors and chief technology officer at BASF.
Video: William Chueh on paradigm-shifting materials insights for solar fuels and energy storage.