Honorable Mention - Laila Jaber-Ansari

Graduate Student, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

“Green Flash”

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are commonly used in electronics, like smart phones. Lithium cobalt oxide, currently used in these batteries, has a long lifetime, but is expensive. Jaber-Ansari and her colleagues are testing other materials to find a more affordable alternative. One possibility is lithium manganese oxide (LMO). LMO is cheaper but has a short lifetime. The substrate (the surface material) on which the LMO is placed plays a role in its effectiveness.

In this image, LMO is deposited on a silicon dioxide substrate. The dendrites (leaf-like formations) are small crystals that form when the LMO powder goes through a heat treatment process, called annealing. Jaber-Ansari hopes to find the substrate material that makes the LMO last the longest in rechargeable batteries.

Technique: Optical microscopy, no false coloring