Inaugural Susan A. Odom Lecture

04/08/2022 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
WT Young Library Auditorium
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus
Type of Event (for grouping events):

This lecture series commemorates the life and legacy of Professor Susan Odom, an energetic, productive, and driven faculty member in the Department of Chemistry from 2011 to 2021. It features speakers noted for outstanding research in Professor Odom’s fields of synthetic and materials chemistry.

Visit this page for more information on the Susan A. Odom lecture series.

Jodie L. Lutkenhaus

Bio: Jodie L. Lutkenhaus is holder of the Axalta Chair and Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Lutkenhaus received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Current research areas include polyelectrolytes, redox-active polymers, energy storage, and composites. She has received recognitions including World Economic Forum Young Scientist, Kavli Fellow, NSF CAREER, AFOSR Young Investigator, 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award. She is the past-Chair of the AICHE Materials Engineering & Sciences Division. Lutkenhaus is the Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Polymer Materials and a member of the U.S. National Academies Board of Chemical Sciences & Technology. 


"Redox-active Macromolecular Radicals for Metal-Free, Degradable Batteries"

Abstract: Because of the projected shortages of elements used in Li-ion batteries and limited battery recycling, alternative electrode chemistries are gaining interest. Ideally, this future battery would contain materials that are easily sourced with little environmental impact, would be degradable of recyclable, and would bear similar or better energy storage characteristics in comparison to Li-ion batteries. This talk will examine one such promising battery chemistry, that of macromolecular radicals. These polymers generally contain redox-active nitroxide radical groups that reversibly exchange electrons at rates much higher that of current metal oxide cathodes. This manifests as a higher power or a high charging rate. The current challenges for macromolecular radical batteries are to understand the redox mechanism, to increase the energy density in metal-free or aqueous conditions, and to consider a circular life cycle. Insight into the polymer’s redox mechanism is provided using electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring, in which mixed electron-ion-solvent transfer is quantified. This knowledge reveals why certain metal-free, aqueous electrolytes are well-suited to this polymer class. Last, an organic peptide battery that degrades on command into amino acids and byproducts provides a path forward toward recycling for a circular life cycle. Collaborative work on polypeptide redox flow batteries with the late Susan Odom is highlighted.