Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Rodger Yuan Rose Hills

Solubility of Intermediary Polysulfides in Ion Conductive Block Copolymers

Batteries with high energy density have important applications as energy storage devices in portable electronics. This summer, I will be studying solid-state lithium-sulfur batteries with block copolymer electrolytes. This the benefit of this design is twofold: the Li-S chemistry has a theoretical specific capacity over 6 times that of todays lithium-ion battery and the polymer electrolyte eliminates the need to use liquid organic electrolytes, which are flammable and volatile. However, there are many challenges that must be overcome before Li-S batteries are viable as future energy storage systems. The problem I will be focusing on for the summer is the dissolution of lithium polysulfides into the polymer electrolyte. As the battery discharges, these polysulfides can dissolve into the ion-conducting polymer and migrate to the anode, causing self-discharge. Using lamellar block copolymers as a cathode binder, we hope to create complex diffusion pathways or chemical potential gradients to localize polysulfide diffusion.

Message To Sponsor

With the money graciously donated to the SURF/Rose Hills program, I will be doing research in Professor Nitash Balsaras group working with lithium-sulfur batteries. In the future, I wish to work in an energy related field of work, and I am thankful to the Rose Hills Foundation for providing me a channel to pursue my interests early in my academic career. I am most thankful for the $1000 allotted for lab related expenses, which will allow me to present a poster at AIChE this October.
Profile image of Rodger Yuan
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Mentor: Nitasash Balsara, Chemical Engineering
Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
Back to Listings
Back to Donor Reports