About this Research Topic
Electrochemical energy storage devices, such as batteries and supercapacitors, are ubiquitous and have become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Due to the recent development of high energy-consuming electronic applications, the demand for energy-dense electrochemical storage units has increased tremendously. Functional nanomaterials are essential in developing high energy density electrochemical storage technologies, representing one of the most important scientific and technical challenges. Besides high energy density, the natural abundance of the electrode materials and price/kWh are the prerequisite for the electrochemical energy storage device. Earth-abundant elements, such as sodium, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, and potassium, sulfur, and air could be the key to the solution to design energy-dense and economically viable electrochemical energy storage devices. Even though the metal anodes offer virtually infinite energy density, there are challenges to realize structurally and chemically stable electrode materials. Nanotechnology advancements could provide solutions to the physical and chemical stability of electrode materials, for long-life and durable electrochemical energy storage devices. Along with the experimental approaches, advances in theory calculations (DFT or molecular dynamics), or computational methods, the design of physically and chemically stable electrode materials has become increasingly important to minimize the consumption of resources and time.
Presently, the most popular energy storage devices are Li-ion batteries, which consist of various chemically and physically diverse electrode materials, such as Ni-Co-Al oxide, Li-Ti oxide, and Ni-Mn-Co oxide. However, to further improve the storage capacity of the functional materials, new electrode materials with diverse functionalities are needed. Besides carbon-based materials, the functional nanomaterials, such as layered metal sulfides, oxides, and nitrides, could be pivotal to improving the charge storage capacity of the electrochemical energy storage devices. Unfortunately, the applications of these nanomaterials in energy storage devices are hindered by their limited cycling performance, insufficient practical storage capacity, and relatively high cost. However, nanomaterials, in conjunction with high energy density electrode materials, may lead to a promising direction, by developing cost-effective and high-energy-density battery options. High-energy-density electrodes, such as alkali or non-alkali metal anode (Li, Na, Al, Ca, and K) and sulfur or air cathode, are not very stable. Due to diverse functionalities, the functional nanomaterials could play a critical role in making the high-energy-density electrode materials stable; this has yet to be investigated and studied.
The main goal of this Research Topic is to shed light on the fundamental properties of the nanomaterials that could be pivotal in improving the performance of electrochemical energy storage devices. It also helps provide insights into the electrochemical processes, mechanism of charge transfer, mode of charge storage, and novel tools that could be utilized for the advancement in the electrochemical energy storage devices.
We invite the submission of seminal and novel contributions (Original Research, Review, Mini Review, and Perspective articles) that could spur the advancement of knowledge on the critical aspects of the field, as well as the current studies on novel materials and methods for energy storage applications. The areas to be covered may include, but are not limited to:
1. Advanced nanomaterials and methods for electrochemical energy storage devices
2. Experimental mechanistic evaluation of the electrochemical processes
3. Theory/computational calculations of the electrochemical processes
4. Design and development of post-Li-ion battery systems
5. Na-ion and beyond electrochemical energy storage devices
6. Any other emerging electrochemical energy storage technology.
Keywords: functional nanomaterials, electrochemistry, energy storage, Li ion batteries, Li batteries, high-energy-density batteries, high-energy-density electrodes, energy storage devices, post-Li-ion battery systems
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.