A paper by Nancy Sottos, Willett Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been selected to receive the 2016 Hetényi Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM). The award is given annually for the best research paper published in Experimental Mechanics in a given year. The paper, “In Situ Measurements of Strains in Composite Battery Electrodes during Electromechanical Cycling,” E. M. C. Jones, M. N. Silberstein, S. R. White, N. R. Sottos, Experimental Mechanics, July 2014, 54 (6), 971-985, was selected by the SEM honors committee from among a group of outstanding papers nominated by the Experimental Mechanics editorial board.
The paper describes how Sottos and colleagues measured the strain in an electrode as it was charged and discharged. Charging resulted in an expansion of the electrode due to the increase of Li ions in the graphite electrode. Discharge resulted in a contraction of the electrode as the Li ions leave.
“Understanding the relationship between the how the electrode mechanically deforms due to electrochemical changes during charging and discharging is important for designing batteries that charge faster and last longer (less capacity fade with time),” Sottos said.
The 2016 Hetényi Award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Mechanics in Orlando, Florida, in June.
Sottos’ research interests focus on the mechanics of complex, heterogeneous materials including autonomic materials systems, advanced composites, and thin film devices. She is a member of the Autonomous Materials Systems group at Beckman Institute.