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Gary Koenig, Jr.

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. University of Wisconsin (2009)
B.S. Ohio State University (2004)

Phone: (434) 982-2714

Research Interests

Materials for energy storage, electrochemistry, composite materials, nanomaterials, colloid and interface science, complex fluids, soft materials

Research Description

Currently, energy storage is a major challenge for a variety of applications. Batteries with higher energy density, better safety, and lower cost will be needed to continue the deployment of vehicles in the transportation sector that rely on electrical energy to drive their motors. In addition, energy storage is needed to provide energy for intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar when weather conditions limit energy generation. Improving battery performance will require new innovations in battery materials, chemistries, and architectures.

Our research investigates the design of new materials and materials chemistries. This research involves the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of materials properties using a variety of techniques. The primary area of application that we focus on is rechargeable battery electrode materials.

We are interested in the tailored synthesis of new materials at multiple length scales. At the molecular scale, the physical properties of materials are largely dependent on the stoichiometry and stable structures that can be formed. In addition, nano-scale topographies and geometries can dramatically influence material performance. We investigate hierarchical approaches to simultaneously design materials at the molecular, nanometer, and micrometer length scales. In applications such as lithium-ion battery electrodes, the active materials must be assembled as particles within a composite matrix. We are investigating general strategies to control the interactions between particles to form ordered assemblies. We then determine the relationships between the structure of these ordered assemblies and the physical and electronic properties of the composites they form.

Selected Publications

Koenig Jr., G. M., Belharouak, I., Deng, H., Sun, Y.-K., Amine, K. "Composition-Tailored Synthesis of Gradient Transition Metal Precursor Particles for Lithium-Ion Battery Cathode Materials", Chemistry of Materials (2011). Vol. 23 p. 1954

Koenig, Jr., G. M., Belharouak, I.; Wu, H. M.; Amine, K. "Hollow Lithiated Metal Oxide Particles as Lithium-Ion Battery Cathode Materials", Electrochimica Acta (2011). Vol. 56 p. 1426

Koenig, Jr., G. M., Lin, I.-H., Abbott, N. L. Chemo-Responsive Assemblies of Microparticles at Liquid Crystalline Interfaces", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010). Vol. 107. p. 3998

Gettelfinger, B. T., Moreno-Razo, J. A., Koenig, Jr., G. M., Hernandez-Ortiz, J. P., Abbott, N. L., de Pablo, J. J. "Flow Induced Deformation of Defects Around Nanoparticles and Nanodroplets Suspended in Liquid Crystals: Interactions with Nanochannels", Soft Matter (2010). Vol. 6. p. 896

Koenig, Jr., G. M., de Pablo, J. J., Abbott, N. L. "Characterization of the Reversible Interaction of Pairs of Nanoparticles Dispersed in Nematic Liquid Crystals." Langmuir (2009). Vol. 25. p. 13318

Koenig, Jr., G. M., Ong, R., Cortes, A. D., de Pablo, J. J., Abbott, N. L. "Single Nanoparticle Tracking Reveals Influence of Chemical Functionality of Nanoparticles on Local Ordering of Liquid Crystals and Nanoparticle Diffusion Coefficients", Nano Letters (2009). Vol. 9. p. 2794

Lin, I.-H., Koenig, Jr., G. M., de Pablo, J. J., Abbott, N. L. "Ordering of Solid Microparticles at Liquid Crystal- Water Interfaces", Journal of Physical Chemistry B (2008). Vol. 112. p. 16552

Koenig, Jr., G. M., Gettelfinger, B. T., de Pablo, J. J., Abbott, N. L. "Using Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances to Probe the Nanoscopic Origins of Adsorbate-Driven Ordering Transitions of Liquid Crystals in Contact with Chemically Functionalized Gold Nanodots", Nano Letters (2008). Vol. 8. p. 2362