BEST Center

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BEST - Research: Michael Hickner

An image of using Raman spectroscopy at the electrochemical interface, where they are able to measure surface adsorbates and changes in polymers under electrochemical conditions

Research in the Hickner Group addresses critical materials needs in new energy storage systems. Specifically, they focus on new functional polymers that serve as solid-state electrolytes or catalyst layer binders in fuel cells and batteries. The group specializes in new polymer synthesis, developing materials that yield fast ion transport and ion/electron mixed conductivity, and performing fundamental measurements of materials behavior in electrochemical systems. Current energy storage activities in the group include developing new low-cost membranes for alkaline fuel cells to bring the cost of fuel cell technology to the level of alkaline batteries, new binders for Li-ion battery Si-based anodes, and new membranes for vanadium redox flow batteries. The Hickner Group maintain a robust-federally funded program and actively collaborate with industry and national laboratories on fundamental and applied programs in energy, environmental, and water-focused research.

The image shows their work on Raman spectroscopy at the electrochemical interface where they are able to measure surface adsorbates and changes in polymers under electrochemical conditions.

More on their research can be found at: http://www2.matse.psu.edu/fac/hicknergroup/