TRI funds research in novel data-driven design of Li-ion batteries

April 3, 2017

Three MIT-affiliated research teams has received about $10M in funding as part of a $35M materials science discovery program launched by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Provided over four years, the support to MIT researchers will be primarily directed at scientific discoveries and advancing a technology that underpins the future of mobility and autonomous systems: energy storage.

MIT’s Martin Bazant, joined by colleagues at Stanford University and Purdue University, Will Chueh and Edwin Garcia respectively, will lead an effort to develop a novel, data-driven design of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These energy storage workhorses, used in cellphones and hybrid cars, are practical, but complicated due to the fundamental complexity of their electrochemistry. Leveraging a nanoscale visualization technique that revealed, for the first time, how Li-ion particles charge and discharge in real time, in good agreement with his theoretical predictions, Bazant, in collaboration with Richard Braatz (MIT), will use machine learning and phase-field modelling to develop a scalable predictive modeling framework for rechargeable batteries.

As of the project kickoff, Postdoctoral associate Neel Nadkarni will be involved, along with graduate students Hongbo Zhao, Supratim Das and Dimitrios Fraggedakis from the Bazant group, and Kristen Severson and Michael Forsuelo from the Braatz group, in this multi-disciplinary collaboration.