The Hallinan Lab studies polymers for advanced energy sustainability. This is increasingly important as petroleum usage is decreased and as intermittent renewable sources, such as wind and solar energy, become more prevalent. Significant improvements in safety, cost, and energy density of commercial batteries are possible by replacing the currently used liquid electrolyte with solid (polymer) electrolyte. Other areas of energy sustainability that motivate our research are membrane-based water desalination and carbon dioxide capture. Polymer membranes for batteries, water, or carbon dioxide capture must be mechanically strong with selective transport properties. Nanostructured polymeric materials can exhibit such combination of properties.

We are interested in the dynamics of these heterogeneous polymer materials, such as block copolymers and polymer-grafted nanoparticles. Multiple phases dispersed throughout a material enables advanced properties that cannot be achieved in materials without structure. For example, we can combine a hydrophilic phase that conducts water or ions with a hydrophobic material that provides mechanical strength. The effect of structure on water and ion transport as well as mechanical strength can be complex. Therefore, we pursue advanced experimental techniques that allow us to measure multicomponent diffusion and local relaxations. Please visit our research page for more details.

  • Researchers develop battery component that uses compound from plants

      A team of Florida State University researchers at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering has developed a way to use a material found in plants to help create safer batteries.

  • Undergraduate Researcher Presented IDEA Grant Results

      The President's Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence hosted undergraduate researchers presenting their IDEA Grant results. Micah Silverman, a member of the Hallinan Lab, was awarded the Scott and Ina McNichols Undergraduate Research Award. He presented the results of his research on Exploring the Soret Effect; Harnessing Polymers for the Future of Renewable Energy. His participation was made possible by this award. His efforts have resulted in new insight into the Soret Effect and a manuscript submitted for publication. You can watch his presentation here.

  • Polymer and Composite Electrolyte Review Webinar

      The Frontiers of Solid State Batteries Webinar hosted jointly by MRS and ECS includes a presentation by Prof. Daniel Hallinan (starting at 1:01:00). He reviews the article on polymer and composite electrolytes that was published with Dr. Irune Villaluenga and Prof. Nitash Balsara in the October 2018 issue of MRS Bulletin (Volume 43). The review introduces important transport parameters, needed to model battery performance. It introduces a dimensionless number, the Newman number, that is important for comparing different classes of electrolytes. It also covers ion transport in model composites, block copolymers that have well defined structure. It present simple effective-medium-theory type expressions to predict the composite transport properties based on the transport properties of each phase. The review also discusses the importance of matching transport properties of different phases. Finally, it discusses reaction kinetics in solid electrolytes.

  • 50th Anniversary of Earth Day: April 22, 2020 is the hub of Earth Day activities. The website has daily challenges during the count down to April 22nd and will host 24 hours of activities on Earth Day.

  • Postdoctoral Opportunities

    • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) that funds postdoctoral (and graduate) fellowships in the areas of
      1. Plant health and production and plant products;
      2. Animal health and production and animal products;
      3. Food safety, nutrition, and health;
      4. Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment;
      5. Agriculture systems and technology; and
      6. Agriculture economics and rural communities.
      The Hallinan Group has an ongoing project with Dr. Qinchun Rao (Nutrition, Food & Exercise Sciences) and Dr. Richard Liang (Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering) related to area 3. The opportunity is called the Education and Workforce Development Program (EWD). Follow the link for more information, including how to apply.

    • Interested parties should contact Daniel Hallinan.

    Plastic Recycling

    • New plastic recycling initiatives are available that allow consumers to close the loop on plastic packaging materials, such as health and personal care products. In many cases, these plastic containers are not recycled in single-stream, municipal waste facilities. Check out the article at Plastics Technology by Heather Caliendo.

    Olympics and Science?

    • Recent and Upcoming Seminars and Conferences

      2020 Virtual AIChE Annual Meeting

      11 AM, November 17, 2020

      "Effect of Lithium Salt Dissociation on the Ion Transport Properties in Block Copolymer Electrolytes"
      Speaker Kyoungmin Kim
      Date/time Tuesday November 17th, 2020 11:00 AM

      Spring 2020 FSU Chemistry
      Materials Seminars

      4 PM, February 20, 2020

      "Structure and Dynamics in Polymeric Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy"
      Speaker Daniel Hallinan
      Date/time Thursday February 20th, 2020 04:00 PM
      Location: Kroto Auditorium, CSL 1003
      Hosted By: Dr. Kennemur

      APS March Meeting

      March 2-6, 2020

      Denver, CO

      Session B70: Polymer Dynamics at the Nano-to Meso-Scale Revealed by X-ray and Neutron Spectroscopy II
      11:15 AM to 2:15 PM, Monday, March 2, 2020
      Room: 208

      11:51 AM to 12:03 PM Length-Scale Dependence of Block Copolymer Segmental Dynamics
      Daniel Hallinan (FSU), Oluwagbenga Iyiola (FSU), Kunlun Hong (CNMS, ORNL), Monojoy Goswami (CNMS, ORNL), Piotr Zolnierczuk (JCNS-SNS, IFJ), Laura-Roxana Stingaciu (JCNS-SNS, IFJ), William Thomas Heller (NSD, ORNL), Kyoungmin Kim (FSU)
      This work examines the effect of interface proximity and tethering on polymer segmental motion. Selectively deuterated block copolymers (BCPs) were studied with neutron spin echo (NSE) spectroscopy. A strongly segregated BCP was used as a model system in which a glassy deuterated polystyrene (dPS) block acted as the interface and the dynamics of a rubbery deuterated polyethylene oxide (dPEO) block was studied. The PEO block was selectively protonated as a label to examine the dynamics near the interface in one sample and near the chain end in another sample. A strong slowing of segmental dynamics in the sample with the protonated label tethered directly to the dPS was observed compared to the dynamics of the sample with the protonated label at the chain end, but with an unexpected length scale dependence. The slowing was only observed at length scales significantly larger than the characteristic PEO segment length (1 nm), and the disparity between interfacial and chain-end dynamics grew with increasing length. The novelty of examining polymer chain motion over a wide range of length scales is enabled by NSE of selectively deuterated BCPs and can impact BCP applications including batteries, water treatment, and gas separations.
      *NSF Award 1751450
      DOE Office of Science

      12:27 PM to 12:39 PM Diffusion of Lithium Salt in Block Copolymer
      Authors: Kyoungmin Kim (FSU), Micah Silverman (FSU), Daniel Hallinan (FSU)
      Salt-doped polymer electrolytes can replace the flammable liquid electrolytes enhancing safety and chemical stability. The challenges to apply the polymer electrolytes to commercial batteries are dendrite formation and the low ionic conductivity. Understanding the ionic transport is essential to design high-performance batteries. Limitations of the conventional electrochemical measurements arise as the system gets complicated. Accurate and straightforward way to measure the transport properties is required. We successfully applied the measurement technique using time-resolved Fourier Transform infrared - attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy to polymer electrolytes. The diffusion coefficients of lithium salt through a polystyrene-poly(ethylene oxide) block copolymer (SEO) electrolytes were investigated. Since the concentration gradient is the only driving force, the diffusion coefficient could be decoupled with the ionic conductivity and transference number. The results showed non-monotonic dependence of the diffusion coefficient on the salt concentration implying the polymer structure or ion dissociation plays a role in the diffusion in concentrated polymer electrolyte.
      *This study is supported by NSF Award # 1804871.

    • Graduate Research Seminars

      11 AM, Fridays

      FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, A113
      or AME Center, Room 106 (see schedule)