Structural Engineering, Characterization, and Analysis of an Organic Electrode Material for Battery Applications


  • MATTHEW YOON Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Intern
  • Kathryn Holguin Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Co-mentor
  • Chao Luo Aspiring Scientists' Summer Internship Program Mentor



Organic electrode materials (OEMs) are auspicious alternatives to conventional inorganic electrode materials primarily because they are abundant, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective. Most commercially available lithium-ion batteries use cobalt-based inorganic cathodes, resulting in economic and environmental concerns for high materials cost and toxicity. Our research group sought to synthesize and characterize a novel OEM and determine the effect of different binders on cell performance and cycle life. Our testing methodology includes synthesizing an innovative lithium-rich active material, testing different binders and electrolytes to pinpoint the most effective combination, and assessing performance on an Arbin Battery Tester. Cells with polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) binder and 1M LiPF6 in EC/DEC electrolyte yielded the best results. Other binders such as carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and sodium alginate (SA) were also evaluated but were not as performant. The Coulombic efficiencies (CE) of CMC, SA, and PVDF electrodes after four cycles were 88.7%, 84.6%, and 91.2%, respectively; these data show us that PVDF electrodes have superior sustained performance. After 50 cycles, the PVDF cell had a stable capacity and CE of 135mAh/g and 97%. With our environment on the precipice of no return and an ongoing global semiconductor shortage that is stymying the automotive, computer, and energy industries, it is paramount for us to innovate battery technologies for the development of a sustainable economy and industry.





College of Science: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry