Erik Herbert Receives Funding for Mechanically Stable Interface Project

Erik G. Herbert
Erik G. Herbert

Erik Herbert (MSE/IMP) is the principal investigator (PI) on a project that has received a $535,317 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled “GOALI: Engineering Mechanically Stable Interfaces Through Short-Range Molecular Rearrangement Driven by Inhomogeneous li Ion Transfer Kinetics.”

Stephen Hackney (MSE/IMP) is a co-PI on this potential three-year project.


This fundamental research project aims to fill critical knowledge gaps required to enable the engineering of next generation high energy density solid state batteries. Specifically, the project will address how the chemistry, composition and physical arrangement of atoms, ions, molecules, and defects in both the atomic structure and interface morphologies collectively control the development of localized pressure known to causes catastrophic failure such as cracking or short circuiting in a battery.

This new knowledge will directly inform robust strategies to engineer the safest and highest performance batteries for consumer electronics and electric vehicles.

Statistical analysis of experimentally observed transitions in stress relaxation mechanisms will enable the construction of novel small-scale deformation mechanism maps expressed as a function of key operational variables, electrochemical cycling, and temperature. These unique maps will provide much needed insight into the physical dimensions of interface defects capable of producing catastrophic device failure by fracture of the solid-state electrolyte.

In this way, the maps will directly inform strategies and guidelines for engineering stable interfaces capable of supporting stress-free, planar deposition of a pure, metallic lithium anode.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.