Professor Whitacre examines the materials science of synthesizing, characterizing, and implementing promising materials and device architectures for energy storage and generation technologies such as Li-ion batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics. He will concurrently be addressing the policy implications involved with selecting and implementing these renewable technologies. Other research topics include hybrid power systems for distributed and mobile platforms, high throughput materials selection methods, and ultra fast laser modification of materials for solid-state electrochemical devices. Whitacre has authored or co-authored over 60 peer review papers and is an inventor on over 30 patents that are issued or pending. He has numerous honors to his name, including the 2014 Caltech/Resnick Sustainability Institute Resonate Award, was listed as one of the top 25 Eco-Innovators in the world by Fortune Magazine in 2014, and was the 2015 winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Innovation.
Areas of Expertise (7)
Hybrid Power Systems
Lithium Ion Batteries
Media Appearances (5)
Titan Advanced Energy Solutions Deploys Breakthrough Battery Inspection Technology in Partnership with Cell Manufacturer Navitas Systems
Yahoo! Finance online
"To meet the increasing demand and economic pressures, lithium-ion battery manufacturers must make a fundamental shift in their approach to quality control. Titan's cell-level inspection technology offers a step-change improvement compared to the use of only traditional electrical methods of inspection," said Jay Whitacre. "As part of my research at Carnegie Mellon University my team evaluated Titan's ultrasound technology alongside OCV, DCIR and impedance spectroscopy. Titan's technology offers a new level of defect detection which can enable process optimization through better predictability and control."
Stratus Materials Emerges from Stealth to Launch Next-Generation Cathode Materials
Business Wire online
Jay Whitacre, CEO & CTO of Stratus Materials, said: “Our innovative processes and materials are designed to provide the lithium-ion battery industry with cathode offerings that outperform best-in-class NMC cathode formulations on virtually every dimension, without relying on cobalt and with significantly less nickel and lithium per kilowatt-hour. We are extremely excited about engaging more broadly with potential customers and partners.”
How robots and AI are helping develop better batteries
MIT Technology Review online
In the case of electrolyte ingredients, “you can mix and match them in billions of ways,” says Venkat Viswanathan, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon, a co-author of the Nature Communications paper, and a cofounder and chief scientist at Aionics. He collaborated with Jay Whitacre, director of the university’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and the co-principal investigator on the project, along with other Carnegie researchers to explore how robotics and machine learning could help.
Making green cars greener with battery recycling
Phys Org online
In their paper titled, "Examining different recycling processes for lithium-ion batteries," and published in Nature Sustainability, Jay Whitacre, director of the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and professor of materials science and engineering and engineering and public policy, and Rebecca Ciez have laid out a path forward for battery makers and policy makers alike to help ensure that this influx of lithium-ion batteries doesn't undo the good work of electric vehicles. "Automakers are also interested in recycling as a potential source of low-cost material that can be remanufactured into new battery packs," says Ciez, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University and former student of Whitacre.
Why Hoverboards Keep Exploding
Jay Whitacre, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, says that the problem doesn’t have to do with these self-balancing scooters themselves, but with the quality of the batteries being used. They’re cheap, and it makes sense: This is a hot (pun not intended) holiday product, the reputable models are pretty expensive, and more-affordable brands are using cheaper components to lure in shoppers that don’t want to spend a grand or more on a hands-free Segway. Predictably, a slew of cut-rate brands are flooding the market with shoddy scooters made from cheapo components.
Industry Expertise (3)
Winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Innovation (professional)
Listed as One of the Top 25 Eco-Innovators in the World, Fortune Magazine (professional)
University of Michigan: Ph.D., Materials Science 1999
University of Michigan: M.S.E., Materials Science 1997
Oberlin College: B.A., Physics 1994
Highly Conductive Polyoxanorbornene‐Based Polymer Electrolyte for Lithium‐Metal BatteriesAdvanced Science
2023 This present study illustrates the synthesis and preparation of polyoxanorbornene‐based bottlebrush polymers with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) side chains by ring‐opening metathesis polymerization for solid polymer electrolytes (SPE)
Reevaluating the stability of the PEO-based solid-state electrolytes for high voltage solid-state batteriesJournal of Energy Storage
2023 This work shows how PEO-based solid state-electrolyte materials can be more stable than commonly expected when used with some types of high voltage cathode materials. Potentiodynamic and galvanostatic tests were performed in test cells using PEO electrolyte layers with either LiNixMnyCozO2 or LiCoO2 cathode materials.
Effective direct recycling of inhomogeneously aged Li-ion battery cathode active materialsJournal of Energy Storage
2023 There is growing interest in lithium ion battery materials recycling, and specifically direct recycling, wherein the cathode material is harvested and rejuvenated for use in new batteries.
The Importance of Structural Uniformity and Chemical Homogeneity in Cobalt‐Free Lithium Excess Nickel Manganese Oxide CathodesAdvanced Science
2023 This study explores the relationships between material quench rate during processing and the resulting structural and electrochemical properties of Li[Ni0.25Li0.167Mn0.583]O2.
A statistical assessment of the state-of-health of LiFePO4 cells harvested from a hybrid-electric vehicle battery packJournal of Energy Storage
2023 Second-life battery applications can reduce the environmental impacts and life-cycle costs of electrochemical energy storage. The feasibility of reusing battery packs is strongly influenced by their modules' and cells' state-of-health.