In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, and technicians of our research groups - providing a glimpse into their typical day at work. In Episode 8 meet Dr. Peter Bramwell.
I am working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Materials Chemistry group at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. My research focuses on electrochemical processes in batteries. My days usually start with checking on the batteries I already have running their charge/discharge cycles, followed by planning out and preparing my next measurements. Once I have all of my batteries running I can then dive into the resulting data. Based on what I have learned from my data I can design or adjust my next experiments.
My work concerns nickel-iron batteries containing an iron sulphide additive, a more cost-effective alternative to Li-ion batteries as they are comprised of abundant and inexpensive materials. This makes them very promising for establishing a sustainable society, as long as we can solve some of the sulfur-induced self-discharge issues. I aim to achieve this by understanding the various mechanisms involved in the charge-discharge processes of the battery. I use a wide variety of techniques to achieve this such as electrochemical testing, X-ray diffraction, X-ray spectroscopy and microscopy. The most interesting of these are operando techniques which allow me to see what is happening in the battery in (almost) real-time.
Contact: Dr. Peter Bramwell
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