Andrew Ilott

2017 Regional Award Winner — Post-Doc

Andrew Ilott

Current Position:
Research Investigator

Institution:
Bristol-Myers Squibb (Formerly at New York University)

Discipline:
Physical Chemistry

Recognized for: Developing novel MRI techniques to scan electrochemical devices

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Energy Materials, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Solid State NMR, Molecular Modeling

Biography:
Research Investigator, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Associate Research Scientist, New York University
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stony Brook University
Ph.D., Chemistry, Durham University, UK
M.Sci, Natural Sciences (Physics and Chemistry), Durham University, UK

Dr. Ilott’s research has focused on the development of new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques that can scan electrochemical devices such as batteries and supercapacitors while they are functioning, revealing details of the operating conditions, critical failure mechanisms and chemical changes that occur inside these devices as they charge and discharge.

He has developed MRI methodology that can pinpoint the location of dendrites growing inside lithium metal batteries. These are microscopic, tree-like structures that can grow between the electrodes in a cell and lead to short circuits and thus major safety concerns. Dendrite formation is one of the main barriers to implementing some of the most promising, next-generation battery technologies. By detecting precisely when and where the dendrites grow and correlating this information with the cycling conditions and the intrinsic properties of the cell, Dr. Ilott and co-workers could provide new insights into the conditions that lead to the formation of dendrites.

Dr. Ilott's recent breakthroughs have also allowed for the application of MRI to commercial, off-the-shelf batteries. This new technology has the potential to revolutionize and accelerate research into new battery materials, optimize quality control procedures in manufacturing, and enable profitable battery recycling projects to deal with the three billion batteries that are disposed of every year in North America alone.

“My research is helping to enable the development of next-generation battery technologies by giving chemists and materials scientists new tools for probing atomic-level interactions inside functioning cells. I aim to spend my career innovating in science and influencing others to do the same.”

Home Page:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-ilott/

Key Publications:

  1. Andrew J. Ilott, Nicole M. Trease, Clare P. Grey and Alexej Jerschow; Multinuclear in situ magnetic resonance imaging of electrochemical double-layer capacitors; Nat. Commun. 5, 4536, 2014.
  2. Andrew J. Ilott, Mohaddese Mohammadi, Hee Jung Chang, Clare P. Grey and Alexej Jerschow, Real time 3D imaging of microstructure growth in battery cells using indirect MRI; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 113 (39), 10779–10784, 2016.
  3. Hee Jung Chang, Andrew J. Ilott, Nicole M. Trease, Mohaddese Mohammadi, Alexej Jerschow, Clare P. Grey, Correlating microstructural lithium metal growth with electrolyte salt depletion in lithium batteries using 7Li MRI. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 137 (48), 15209–15216, 2015.
  4. Andrew J. Ilott, Alexej Jerschow, Super-resolution surface microscopy of conductors using magnetic resonance, Sci. Rep., 7, 5424, 2017.

Other Honors:
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Young Scientist Award 2015

In the Media:
https://cen.acs.org/articles/94/i38/Imaging-dangerous-dendrite-growth-inside.html
https://cen.acs.org/articles/92/i32/Peeking-Inside-Capacitor.html