Self Assembled Film Injected Battery

2014 Seed Grant

Batteries provide excellent storage capabilities, but have always had limitations within couplings of lifetime stability, energy and power. Dan Steingart and his team believe they can break this coupling with a new fuel cell design that leverages traditional battery materials. To date semi solid flow cells have had power limitations as they try to maintain too much fuel within a reactor. In their new design they are trying to minimize the reactor volume to maximize power through thin film assembly and disassembly.



Figure 1) Schematic of the ECDI design. A small electrochemical cell (with a volume between 0.1 and 10 mL) has four ports, two inlets and two outlets (one pair for the anodic reaction, one pair for the cathodic reaction). Within the cells, interdigitated current collectors are printed upon a porous separator. Tailored particles are injected into the reactor in a common electrolyte solution. As detailed in Figure 1, the anode particles are designed to sink in the electrolyte, and the cathode particles are designed to float in the electrolyte. The particles contact the current collector, and a redox potential is established across the separator (either by the particles themselves in power generation mode or by an external power source in materials production mode). A reaction is then allowed to happen for a controlled amount of time. The particles are then “scrubbed” from their surfaces and pulled through the exhaust port, and the cycle restarts.


Educational Impacts

Professor Steingart is developing an experimental module for his Energy Storage Class that demonstrate, in simple labs, the relationship between power and energy.

Participating Department


Daniel Steingart
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineerings
Marcus Hultmark
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineerings
Michael Mueller
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineerings

Research Associates

  • Andrew Hsiesh

Graduate Students

  • Greg Davies

Undergraduate Students

  • Andre Douglas