Skip to main content

ESE Seminar - Giovanna Bucci: Microstructural design of batteries and fuel cells

Sponsored by

This event is over.

Event Details:

Giovanna Bucci

Computational Design Group

Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.

Monday, November 14, 2022

12:30 PM - 1:20 PM

This meeting is in Room 104 and can also be viewed in Room 014



Chemo-mechanics and microstructural design of solid-state batteries

In all-solid cells, the battery life depends in larger measure on the mechanical integrity of the composite system. The charge-transfer reaction proceeds only if contact is established, therefore fracture and delamination (caused by electrochemical cycling) result in power loss and battery capacity fade. A theoretical framework for electro-deposition, large deformations and fracture mechanics is developed to explore this design space. With quantitative analyses that account for the electrode microstructures, we identify main degradation mechanisms. This research leads to guidelines for engineering of particle size, volume ratio of active material, interfacial cohesion, and mechanical properties.

Mesoscale model for dissolution and coarsening of catalyst nanoparticles

Power loss in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells is mainly caused by the loss of the electrochemically active surface of the cathode catalyst layer. To study cathode aging, we developed a theoretical framework to model electrochemical dissolution of catalyst materials and predict nanoparticle coarsening over cycling. This mesoscale approach contains an explicit representation of the cathode catalyst microstructure and the local environment around each particle. This includes modeling Pt-ions transport within the microstructure and the dissolution/redeposition processes caused by voltage cycling. This theoretical framework can be used to understand how material design influences catalyst degradation, to improve material utilization and extend fuel-cell lifetime in long-haul vehicles.



Giovanna Bucci is a Senior Scientist in the Computational Design group PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). Giovanna has extensive experience in computational modeling ranging from next-generation energy storage to DNA sequencing devices. At PARC, she leads computational materials science research in energy and healthcare, and government proposals in these areas. She is also involved with process modeling for metal additive manufacturing.

Prior to joining PARC, she was a Senior Research Engineer at Bosch, where she developed mesoscale models of aging in Li-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells. She also led an effort on optimizing the design of a DNA sequencing device based on nano-confinement in collaboration with Stanford University and MIT.

Giovanna began her career in the field of computational solid mechanics, with an emphasis on fracture and large-scale simulation. She did postdocs at Brown University and MIT (Materials Science Dept.). Her analyses have established design rules for silicon anodes and identified failure-tolerant battery microstructures and operating conditions.

She received her Ph.D. in Structural Mechanics from the Politecnico di Milano and her M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Architecture from Università di Pavia. Her cross-disciplinary accomplishments were recognized by the 2015 Rising Stars in Nuclear Science and Engineering award at MIT.



2022 Q. Ye, A. Bhattacharyya, G. Bucci, K. Pietrzyk, M. Behandish, I Battiato · Design Optimization of battery modules to prevent thermal runaway · in preparation

2022 K. Pietrzyk, G. Bucci, M. Behandish, I. Battiato · Automated rigorous upscaling via symbolic computing for thermal runaway analysis in Li-ion battery modules · submitted

2022 G. Bucci, T. Swamy,W.C. Carter · Modeling of porous lithium metal electrodes: turning the Li-dendrite problem around · J. Electrochem. Soc. 169:070501

2021 G. Bucci, K. Gadelrab, A. J. Spakowitz · Free energy and dynamics of annihilation of topological defects in nano-confined DNA · Macromolecules 54(20):9268-9279

2021 G. Bucci, K. Gadelrab, W. C. Carter · Mesoscale Model for Ostwald Ripening of Catalyst Nanoparticles · J. Electrochem. Soc. 168 054515

2020 G. Bucci, A. J. Spakowitz · Systematic Approach toward Accurate and Efficient DNA Sequencing via Nanoconfinement · Macro Letters 9(8):1184-1191

2019 G. Bucci, J. Christensen · Modeling of lithium electrodeposition at the lithium/ceramic electrolyte interface: The role of interfacial resistance and surface defects · J. Pow. Sources 441:227186

2018 G. Bucci, B. Talamini, A. Renuka Balakrishna, Y.-M. Chiang, W.C. Carter · Mechanical instability of electrode/electrolyte interfaces in solid-state batteries · Phys. Rev. Materials 2(10): 105407

2017 G. Bucci, T. Swamy, Y.-M. Chiang, W.C. Carter · Modeling of internal mechanical failure of all-solid-state batteries during electrochemical cycling, and implications for battery design · J. Materials Chemistry A 5(36)

2017 G. Bucci, T. Swamy, Y.-M. Chiang, W.C. Carter · Random walk analysis of the effect of mechanical degradation on all-solid-state battery power · J. Electrochem. Soc. 164(12):A2660-A2664

2017 G. Bucci, T. Swamy, S. Bishop, B. Sheldon, Y.-M. Chiang, W.C. Carter · The effect of stress on battery-electrode capacity · J. Electrochem. Soc. 164(4):A645-A654

2016 G. Bucci Y.-M. Chiang, W.C. Carter · Formulation of the coupled electrochemical– mechanical boundary-value problem, with applications to transport of multiple charged species · Acta Mater. 62:33-51

2014 G. Bucci, S. P. V. Nadimpalli, V. A. Sethuraman, A. F. Bower, and P. R. Guduru · Measurement and modeling of the mechanical and electrochemical response of amorphous Si thin film electrodes during cyclic lithiation · J. of Mechan. Phys. Sol. 62:276-294

2013 S.P.V. Nadimpalli, V.A. Sethuraman, G. Bucci, V. Srinivasan, A.F. Bower, and P.R. Guduru · On plastic deformation and fracture in Si films during electrochemical lithiation cycling · J. Electrochem. Soc. 60:A1885-A1893

Publications · Books

2019 G. Bucci andW.C. Carter · Handbook of Mechanics of Materials. Micro-mechanics in electrochemical systems · Springer Singapore, 901–953

2010 G. Bucci and C. Cinquini · Elementi di Teoria della Trave e Soluzioni Strutturali · Schonenfeld& Ziegler


1 person is interested in this event