Next generation battery development accelerated

Oxford Instruments, a leading provider of analytical equipment to the battery research and manufacturing communities, has announced a new R&D collaboration has been formed with the University of Oxford’s Department of Materials and the Henry Royce Institute (Royce). It will work to accelerate research in future battery technologies by using benchtop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to develop new methods to monitor reactions in battery cells and use this understanding to enhance their performance. It aims to contribute to the UK’s industrial strategy to fight climate change through the development of new technology for net zero-emission vehicles and will contribute to realising practical lifetimes for beyond Li-ion technologies such as the Lithium-Air battery that promises a step-change improvement in energy density.

 Researchers will use X-Pulse, Oxford Instruments’ benchtop NMR spectrometer, to characterise the behaviour of a wide range of different elements within novel battery material formulations during electrochemical processes. X-Pulse is the world’s only broadband X-nucleus benchtop NMR spectrometer. Critical to the project is the development of in-operando NMR operation in an inert glovebox environment.

The Bruce Group at Oxford University’s Department of Materials focuses on understanding the properties of new materials used in energy storage, with a particular emphasis on solid-state chemistry and electrochemistry. Prof. Peter Bruce FRS is among the “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” as a Thomson Reuters/Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher for six years in a row, 2015-2020.  The group’s research aligns closely with the UK’s industrial strategy and the wider global drive to a greener economy. The UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has given the project an Industrial Cooperative Award in Science & Technology (CASE). This will provide a dedicated PhD researcher with additional access to training, facilities, and expertise at Oxford Instruments’ headquarters.

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