Hien Nguyen

Characterization of transport parameters

Advancement of lithium-based battery technology is extremely important as demand for safer and higher capacity batteries continues to increase. Commercial lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology has an inherit safety concern as the electrolyte mixture of ethylene carbonate, dimethyl carbonate, and lithium hexafluorophosphate is highly flammable. One way to address this problem is to switch to a nonflammable electrolyte while maintaining high levels of electrolyte performance. Performance metrics include conductivity, which is the reverse of the resistance to ion flow, transference number, which is a measure of the percentage of charge carried by a particular ion, and the salt diffusion coefficient, which tells how fast a molecule is moving with concentration gradient. All three metrics are needed to fully characterize an electrolyte.
Electrolytes formed out of polymers are of specific interest as they are nonflammable. The newest class of polymer electrolytes include mixtures of perfluoropolyethers and lithium salts with fluorinated anions. Our project is to determine the salt diffusion coefficient within the fluorinated electrolyte, particularly a system with a mixture of lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) in C8-DMC as a function of salt concentration and electrolyte thickness.

Message to Sponsor

I had an amazing experience the past summer. Not only I got a chance to learn many skills that are absolutely needed for grad school, but I also learned how to socialize with other people and got to learn their project. I've learned so much the past summer, especially while doing my poster and having to present it in front of the crowd. I think I'm much better shaped to apply for graduate school and to continue with my project.
  • Major: Chemical Engineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Experience
  • Mentor: Professor Balsara