22 November 2016

Developing innovative technologies for high-performance lithium-ion batteries for portable electronic devices such as electric vehicles will be the focus of new ARC Future Fellowship recipient, Dr Wei Kong Pang.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) will be providing $77.0 million for 100 new research projects under the Future Fellowship scheme, for funding commencing in 2016, announced on 1 November 2016 as part of the ARC Major Grants Announcement.

Dr Wei Kong Pang from The University of Wollongong will receive $652,000 to further his research into lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are the most promising choice for portable electronic devices, including electric vehicles, due to their high power and energy performance compared with other battery technologies.

The success of this project is expected to advance fundamental understanding of lithium-ion batteries, and provide techniques to develop a promising high-energy and high-power battery system.

Dr Wei Kong Pang, who is currently appointed at the University of Wollongong and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation as a postdoctoral fellow, said the higher-performing batteries were in demand for increasingly powerful technology, such as new smartphones and the push for electric vehicles with greater range.

“New apps and games with better screen resolution are energy-consuming, and electric vehicles with smaller and lighter batteries but improved capacity are in high demand,” Dr Wei Kong Pang said.

 “The performance of a lithium-ion battery is determined by the crystal structure and chemistry of the electrode materials.”

“Using in-operando synchrotron and neutron techniques, we will be able to investigate the true and real-time responses of the electrodes during battery functioning and deepen our fundamental understanding of the electrode materials.”

“Better understanding will help us to tune the structure and chemistry of the electrode materials correctly and ultimately improve performance.” 

The Future Fellowships scheme promotes research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding mid-career researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia.

The Future Fellowships scheme is an integral part of the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Program which supports high quality research essential to Australia’s innovation system for the development of new ideas, job creation, economic growth, and an enhanced quality of life in Australia.

The objectives of the Future Fellowships scheme are to:

  • ensure that outstanding mid-career researchers are recruited and retained, by Administering Organisations in continuing academic positions
  • build collaboration across industry and/or research organisations and/or disciplines
  • support research in national priorities that will result in economic, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia
  • strengthen Australia’s research capacity by supporting innovative, internationally competitive research.