Scientists have identified the primary cause of failure in a state-of-the-art lithium-metal battery, of interest for long-range electric vehicles: electrolyte depletion.
UPTON, NY — Inspired by the mastery of artificial intelligence (AI) over games like Go and Super Mario, scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) trained an AI agent — an autonomous computational program that observes and acts — how to conduct research experiments at superhuman levels by using the same approach. The Brookhaven team published their findings in the journal Machine Learning: Science and Technology and implemented the AI agent as part of the research capabilities at NSLS-II.
Cracks and chemical reactions on a battery particle’s surface can sap its ability to store and release energy. Scientists probed a single charged particle the size of a red blood cell to see how interior and surface damage influence each other.
Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production. Now the race is on to develop technology to efficiently extract one of the most valuable metals from the brine produced by the geothermal plants near the Salton Sea: lithium.
Using electron microscopes, Hwang—a materials scientist at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—characterizes the structure and chemistry of operating battery electrode materials.