UCLA-led center receives $9.75 million to improve rechargeable batteries

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Professor Sarah Tolbert will serve as Director of the SCALAR center which will seek to increase battery capacity, stability and safety.

Tolbert holds faculty appointments in Chemistry & Biochemistry and in the UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her current research interests include self-organized nanoscale materials for electronic, magnetic, optical, and structural applications, with a specific focus on nanomaterials for energy. Energy related work includes electrochemical charge storage and solar energy harvesting using semiconducting polymers and polymer templated nanoporous materials. She also works on the development of new magnetic and multiferroic materials and on developing and understanding new ultrahard and ultra-incompressible materials. Tolbert also leads a program aimed at bringing nano-concepts to schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

To learn more about Tolbert’s research, visit her group’s website.

From UCLA Newsroom (by Amy Akmal)

UCLA-led center receives $9.75 million to improve rechargeable batteries

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UCLA professors Sarah Tolbert and Bruce Dunn are the director and associate director of the new center. 

UCLA Samueli

An energy research center led by UCLA has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of its Energy Frontier Research Centers and awarded a four-year grant of $9.75 million. 

With the funding, the new UCLA-led Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables center, or SCALAR, will help accelerate research on new types of chemistry and materials for rechargeable batteries. The researchers will seek to increase battery capacity, stability and safety.

The center’s director is Sarah Tolbert, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College and of materials science and engineering at UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. Other partners in SCALAR are UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, Caltech, the University of Southern California, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, a DOE laboratory.  

“Improving energy storage has tremendous potential to impact intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, as well as the future of electric vehicles,” Tolbert said. “We are excited to bring together this dynamic team of researchers to advance this critical need.”

Bruce Dunn, UCLA’s Nippon Sheet Glass Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and chair of the UCLA Samueli materials science and engineering department, is the center’s associate director.

The grant to UCLA was one of 42 such awards, totaling $100 million, announced by the Department of Energy. Established by the DOE’s Office of Science in 2009, the Energy Frontier Research Centers program brings together researchers from multiple disciplines and institutions — universities, national laboratories and nonprofit organizations — to spur work that strengthens U.S. economic leadership and energy security.