Pharr awarded grant for research of lithium metal anodes in batteries

Pharr, MattDr. Matt Pharr, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received grant funds to benefit his research of lithium metal anodes in batteries.

Pharr was one of four researchers awarded a $20,000 gift award by the Applied Mechanics Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The program is funded by the Haythornthwaite Foundation and targets new university faculty engaged in research involving theoretical and applied mechanics.

The objective of Pharr’s project, "Electro-chemo-mechanics of Lithium Metal Anodes for High-capacity Batteries," is to construct a stable metallic lithium anode, which Pharr said will enable higher energy and power capabilities in batteries while reducing weight and volume.

“From a scientific perspective, despite being the third element on the periodic table, little is known regarding the mechanical behavior of lithium,” Pharr said. “From an engineering perspective, lithium metal is known as the ‘holy grail’ of anode materials, as it has the highest theoretical capacity, lowest density and most negative electrochemical potential.”

Pharr’s research interests include materials for energy storage and conversion, mechanics of flexible/wearable electronic devices and deformation and fracture of soft materials.