Lithium-ion batteries continue to fuel millions of smartphones, electric cars, power tools and all manner of other rechargeable equipment, but SUNY Oswego physics faculty member Mohammad Islam (pictured above, right) believes great potential exists for lower cost sodium-ion batteries to make inroads.
An expert in fabricating and using nanoparticles in his research on batteries, Islam recently earned a campus Scholarly and Creative Activity grant to study nanoparticles that promise to improve the life and charging efficiency of sodium-ion batteries.
“Sodium is far more abundant in the earth (than lithium), and 2 percent of seawater is sodium,” Islam said. “It’s in the same column of the periodic table as lithium and shares many of its electrochemical properties. But sodium is highly reactive, so we have to tame the reactivity of sodium.”
Islam and a research assistant, electrical and computer engineering major Josh Willson ’19, (pictured above, left) work in a lab on the lower level of Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation, making battery components for their tests to fit inside the familiar coin-shaped, button cell outer cases.
Their work is among several other faculty-student projects being supported by SUNY Oswego’s Scholarly and Creative Activity Committee (SCAC), which receives funding from The Fund for Oswego.
Islam said he has more grant applications in progress, for significantly more money. But he said he values highly the faith that SCAC showed in his research.
Scholarly and Creative Activity faculty grants of up to $3,000 are designed to provide support for high-impact research among faculty and staff seeking to be more competitive in their fields, which can lead to grants from external funding sources.
SCAC also approved the following faculty projects:
• “Mass Shootings and the Needs of Survivors,” Jaclyn Schildkraut, public justice;
• “‘The Big Trouble Came:’ Youth and American Citizenship in the 1930s-1940s,” Allison Rank, political science;
• “From Charity to Chastisement and Cruelty,” Cynthia Clabough, art;
• “Mobile Eye Tracker for Multiple Projects on Search Behavior,” Theo Rhodes, psychology;
• “Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Subjects with Tropical Mosquito-Borne Diseases,” Kestas Bendinskas, chemistry.
On average, SUNY Oswego invests over $900,000 annually through a variety of grants, recognition opportunities and awards to support faculty, students and staff in their individual and collective interests in scholarly research, professional development and creative activities.