Perfecting renewable energy methods is an essential step for preserving a balance in our changing climate. PUF partnership professors Yury Gogotsi, Distinguished University Professor and Trustee Chair at Drexel University, and Patrice Simon, Professor at Université Paul Sabatier, CIRIMAT are pioneering alternative, renewable energy sources that aim to improve certain aspects of lithium batteries, the most widely used electrical energy storage devices. The collaborating universities, Drexel and Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, are investigating a new class of 2D materials that combine the laminate structure of graphite with silicon, tin and other elements that can provide higher lithium uptake per atom and ultimately create a better battery.
The results of the MXene partnership have been substantial: the partners, whose collaborative research started long ago and has been sustained by ERC and Erasmus Mundus grants, recently published an article in Science. The team, composed of seven American faculty and Ph.D. students and three French faculty and Ph.D. students, has begun to improve lithium battery anodes based on the fundamental knowledge obtained as a result of the PUF-supported collaboration.
In addition to publishing impressive results, the MXenes program has fostered unparalleled educational opportunities for students. In its first year alone, two American Ph.D. students received training on electrochemical characterization of energy storage systems at the French UPS-CIRIMAT, seven partners traveled for research and collaboration purposes to locations including New Orleans, Toulouse, and other parts of France and America, and five conferences and events relating to the project were held.