Skip to main content

ESE Seminar - Lauren Marbella: Tracking Degradation in Commercial Li Batteries with High Chemical, Spatial, and Temporal Resolution

Sponsored by

This event is over.

Event Details:

Lauren Marbella

Chemical Engineering
Columbia University

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


Although Li metal anodes offer the highest possible specific energy density for Li-based batteries, practical application is plagued by the growth of high surface area Li deposits. The presence of these Li filaments is correlated with the formation of dead (electrochemically inactive) Li that leads to low Coulombic efficiency (CE) and serious safety concerns due to short-circuiting. Li filament growth is strongly coupled to the composition and the spatial arrangement of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) that forms during contact with a liquid electrolyte and continues to evolve over the course of electrochemical cycling. In this talk, I will discuss our efforts to use operando nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to probe buried interfaces in these systems and quantitatively detect Li microstructural growth, dead Li formation, and electrolyte decomposition to determine the precise mechanisms of failure in realistic Li battery cells, including commercially-available multilayer pouch cells.

Lauren Marbella is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University. Her research group focuses on understanding the relationship between electrochemical performance and interfacial chemistry in devices for energy storage and conversion. Her research relies heavily on the use of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy to evaluate changes in material properties in real time to elucidate the chemical mechanisms underpinning degradation in Li and beyond Li-ion battery systems. Marbella’s research has received numerous awards including the Cottrell Scholar Award (2022), the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2021), and the Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award for Advanced Energy Storage (Sloan Foundation, 2019).

She received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016, under the direction of Prof. Jill Millstone. In 2017, she was named a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the group of Prof. Clare Grey. There, she was also named the Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellow, which recognizes the top junior fellow at Darwin College at the University of Cambridge. She joined the chemical engineering faculty at Columbia University in 2018.

References/Related Papers
1. Hestenes, J. C.; Sadowski, J. T.; May, R.; Marbella, L. E.* “Transition metal dissolution mechanisms and impacts on electronic conductivity in composite LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 cathode films” ACS Materials Au 2022, Article ASAP (DOI: 10.1021/acsmaterialsau.2c00060). 2022 Rising Star in Materials Research

2. Hestenes, J. C.; May, R.; Sadowski, J.; Munich, N.; Marbella, L. E.* “Resolving chemical and spatial heterogeneities at complex electrochemical interfaces in Li ion batteries” Chemistry of Materials 2022, 34, 232.

3. Chang, W.; May, R.; Wang, M.; Thorsteinsson, G.; Sakamoto, J.; Marbella, L. E.*; Steingart, D.* “Evolving contact mechanics and microstructure formation dynamics of the Li metal-LLZO interface” Nature Communications 2021, 12, 6369. (equal contribution) Selected for Editors’ Highlights page on Energy

4.  May, R.; Fritzsching, K. J.; Livitz, D.; Denny, S. R.; Marbella, L. E.* “Rapid interfacial exchange of Li ions dictates high Coulombic efficiency in Li metal batteries” ACS Energy Letters 2021, 6, 1162.