The Printed/Electrochemical Engineering Lab at the City College of New York is primarily focussed on creating and improving print processes for energy storage, examining electrochemical phenomena, and exploring the electrochemical/electrical/mechanical coupling of printed composite films.
More than 90% of electrochemical storage cells (batteries) contain printed or slurry cast components. Printing processes decouple materials synthesis and device fabrication, and allow for high throughput continuous manufacturing. This decoupling has allowed researchers to improve the materials used in all electrochemical cells and enabled the batteries we rely on a daily basis to be small, reliable and affordable.
However, the relationship between the processing of printed electrodes and cell performance is poorly understood at a fundamental level. Printed electrodes, at the microscale/nanoscale, are a collection of packed particles bound typically by a polymeric matrix. Intimate contact between the active particles are critical for power performance, so industries simply "squeeze and can" these electrodes to improve power performance. As applications begin to require mechanical flexibility and longer cycle life, the standard calendaring (or compression) batteries undergo may be unavailable or detrimental in the long term.
At the P/EEL we have created an environment where we can quickly print, test, and analyze battery electrodes. With our custom printers/stages, microfluidic fabrication and testing equipment, and in-lab prototyping tools we can quickly iterate on designs and experiments, starting with a "shotgun" approach to complex problems and developing both variable spaces and hypotheses of interaction after a few design cycles.
The lab's tooling and characterization equipment also enables research and training for
- Electrochemical Materials Processing
- Electroanalytic Chemistry
- Rapid Prototyping of Microfluidic Electrochemical Cells
- Print Processing of Arbitrary Slurries/Inks
The lab is currently receiving support from
- The City College of New York 21st Century Fund
- The National Science Foundation (Link)
- The Department of Energy/ARPA-E (Link)
- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (Link)