Technology Fellow receives VC award for research excellence

Left: A boron nitride nanotube coated with a 10 nm conformal layer of aluminium oxide. Right: a bright-field TEM image, (energy-filtered image with elemental contrast (green – oxygen, red - boron)

MCN would like to congratulate our most recent Technology Fellow, Dr. Alexey Glushenkov who was recently awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence (Early Career Research) at Deakin University. The award recognises individuals who have contributed to long term goals and research vision of Deakin University.

Alexey undertook his technology fellowship at MCN earlier this year and has a particular interest in the applications of nanostructured electrodes in electrochemical energy storage. His research project is centred around the electrode materials for lithium ion and sodium ion batteries as well as electrochemical supercapacitors.

A recent trial as part of this project saw a conformal deposition of 10nm of aluminium oxide onto boron nitride nanotubes by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). A normally challenging structure to coat uniformly, the nanotubes were coated by a homogeneous, 10nm thick layer of aluminium oxide using MCN’s ALD Savannah S100 instrument. The ALD techniques available at MCN are able to achieve highly conformal, continuous, pin-hole free depositions on complex surfaces and porous structures.

Alexey is aiming to use a similar technique to provide coatings for electrodes in batteries to provide an artificial surface layer to separate electrodes from direct contact with electrolytes in batteries. Such a surface layer is capable of ionic conduction and does not interfere with battery operation, while it works to reduce unwanted side effects caused by the contact of electrodes with electrolytes and result in better cyclic stability and reliability of batteries.

MCN looks forward to working with Alexey over the coming months on other exciting aspects of this project.