A leading researcher from ISSP UL’s Laboratory of Materials for Energy Harvesting and Storage, Dr. chem. Gunārs Bajārs participated in the 242nd Meeting of the Electrochemical Society (ECS), which took place in Atlanta, USA, on October 9-13, with the oral presentation of his research on “Improving the electrochemical properties of cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries”. The 242nd ECS Meeting brought together the most active professional and student researchers in academia, government, and industry to engage, discuss, and innovate in the areas of electrochemistry and solid-state science and technology, and allied subjects. This was the premier destination for industry professionals to experience five days of learning, technical presentations, business development, and networking opportunities.
The ISSP UL’s researcher showed the current research at the Laboratory of Energy Harvesting and Storage and available infrastructure, participated in the various events of the Meeting, and offered the ISSP UL expertise for future cooperation. Participation in the event allowed discussion of future collaboration and joint project preparation with the representatives of several universities and research institutions (Helmholtz Institute Munster, Technical University Braunschweig, Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden, Warwick University, etc.). With the German Aerospace Center, Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, and Electrochemical Energy Technology, Gunārs Bajārs discussed joint project preparation and submission to the European Space Agency. The researcher also met with Hugh C. DeLong, Director of Physical Sciences @ Army Research Office Team Lead, about the possibility of obtaining military research funding.
During the meeting, Gunārs Bajārs gained new knowledge in research and development of cathode and anode materials for lithium, sodium and potassium ion batteries, all-solid-state batteries, sulphur batteries, and battery safety and diagnostics. He also had a meeting with an industrial synthetic graphite manufacturer Vianode on cooperation in the research and development of anode material for lithium-ion batteries and with manufacturers of potentiostats and battery cyclers Metrohm and BioLogic on the possibility of getting the newest and most advanced research equipment (e.g., in situ Raman spectroscopy during electrochemical cycling).
After the ECS Meeting, on October 14, Gunārs Bajārs visited the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and startup Sila Nanotechnologies in Atlanta, USA. This visit aimed to demonstrate the knowledge and capabilities of ISSP UL’s researchers and get acquainted with Prof. Gleb Yushin (co-founder of Sila Nanotechnologies) and his group. During the visit, Gunārs Bajārs was introduced to the facilities at the Materials Science and Engineering building and visited laboratories for materials synthesis, thin film production technologies, electrochemical characterization of batteries and fuel cells, characterization of structure, morphology and composition of energy materials, etc. This was followed by discussions on possible collaboration. Postdoctoral researcher, PhD Wenbin Fu, was nominated as the contact person for future collaboration from the side of Georgia Tech. The ties have been built and strengthened; both sides affirmed the willingness to prepare joint research proposals.