Our group is interested in fundamental science of ionically conducting solids for developing high-energy and high-power batteries like Li-, Na- ion and all solid-state batteries. Specifically, we focus on synthesis of electrodes and solid electrolytes, study their crystal structure, electronic and surface properties, identify redox mechanisms and mechanisms of failure/degradation aimed at improved batteries. The group is also interested in using ion-conducting solids for use in other applications such as next generation metal-oxygen batteries, supercapacitors, electrochromic windows and sensors.
2020 - Current Assistant Professor, Indian Association for Cultivation of Sciences, Kolkata, India
2019 - 2020 Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle, Germany
Advisor: Prof. Stuart Parkin
2018 - 2019 Research Fellow, Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany
Advisor: Prof. Jürgen Janek
2015 - 2018 Post Doctoral Researcher and group leader Na-ion team
Materials Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.
Advisor: Prof. Peter G. Bruce
2010 - 2014 Ph. D (Materials Science) Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, JNCASR, India
Advisor: Prof. C. N. R. Rao
Maitra, U.*, Das, A. K., Oxygen Redox Intercalation Cathodes: The Fundamentals and Strategies to Resolve the Challenges, ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 2022, 5, 4522
Boivin, E., House, R. A., Pérez-Osorio, M. A., Marie, J. J., Maitra, U., Rees, G. J., Bruce P. G.*, Bulk O2 formation and Mg displacement explain O-redox in Na0.67Mn0.72Mg0.28O2 , Joule, 2021, 5, 1267
Sun, B. Xiong, P. Maitra, U., Langsdorf, D. Yan, K. Wang, C., Janek, J., Schröder, D.*, Wang G.*, Design Strategies to Enable the Efficient Use of Sodium Metal Anodes in High Energy Batteries, Adv. Mater., 2020, 32, 1903891.
House, R. A., Maitra, U., Pérez-Osorio, M. A., Lozano, J. A., Jin, L. Somerville, J. W. Duda, L. C. Nag, A., Walters, A. Zhou, A. J. Roberts, M. R., Bruce P. G.*, Superstructure control of first-cycle voltage hysteresis in oxygen-redox cathodes, Nature, 2020, 577, 502.
Somerville, J. W., Sobkowiak, A. Tapia-Ruiz, A., Billaud, J. House, R.A., Ericsson, T. Häggström, L. Roberts, M. R., Villevieille, C., Maitra, U., Bruce P. G.*, Nature of the “Z”-phase in charged P2-type Na-ion battery cathodes, Energy. Environ. Sci., 2019, 12, 2223.
House, R. A., Maitra, U., Jin, L., Somerville, J. W., Lozano, J. G., Rees, N. H., Duda, L. C., Massel, F., Chadwick, A. V, Ramos, S., Roberts, M. R., Bruce, P. G.* What Triggers Oxygen Loss in Oxygen Redox Cathode Materials? Chem. Mater., 2019, 31, 3293.
Maitra, U., House, R. A., Somerville, J. W., Tapia-Ruiz, N., Lozano, J. G., Guerrini, N., … Bruce, P. G.*. Oxygen redox chemistry without excess alkali-metal ions in Na2/3[Mg0.28Mn0.72]O2. Nature. Chem., 2018, 10, 288.
Tapia-Ruiz, N., Dose, W. M., Sharma, N., Chen, H., Heath, J., Somerville, J., Maitra, U., Islam, M. S.*, Bruce, P. G.* High voltage structural evolution and enhanced Na-ion diffusion in P2-Na2/3Ni1/3-xMgxMn2/3O2 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.20), cathodes from diffraction, electrochemical and ab-initio studies. Energy Environ. Sci., 2018,11,1470.
Somerville, J. W., House, R. A., Tapia-Ruiz, N., Sobkowiak, A., Ramos, S., Chadwick, A. V., …Maitra, U., Bruce, P. G.*. Identification and characterization of high energy density P2-type Na2/3[Ni1/3−y/2 Mn2/3−y/2Fey]O2 compounds for Na-ion batteries. J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 5271.
House, R. A., Jin, L., Maitra, U., Tsuruta, K., Somerville, J. W., Förstermann, D. P., … Bruce, P. G.* Lithium manganese oxyfluoride as a new cathode material exhibiting oxygen redox. Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, 11, 2.
Singh, G., Tapia-Ruiz, N., Lopez Del Amo, J. M., Maitra, U., Somerville, J. W., Armstrong, A. R., … Bruce, P. G.* High Voltage Mg-Doped Na0. 67Ni0. 3–xMgxMn0.7O2 (x= 0.05, 0.1) Na-Ion Cathodes with Enhanced Stability and Rate Capability. Chem. Mater., 2016, 28, 5087.
Maitra, U., Gupta, U., De, M., Datta, R., Govindaraj, A., & Rao, C. N. R.* Highly effective visible-light-induced H2 generation by single-layer 1T-MoS2 and a nanocomposite of few-layer 2H-MoS2 with heavily nitrogenated graphene Angew. Chemie Int. Ed., 2013, 52, 13057.
Maitra, U., Govindaraj, A., & Rao, C. N. R.* Importance of trivalency and the eg1 configuration in the photocatalytic oxidation of water by Mn and Co oxides. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2013, 110, 11704.
Rao, C. N. R.*, Ramakrishna-Matte H. S. S., Maitra, U., Graphene Analogues of Inorganic Layered Materials. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 13162.
Interested Ph.D and Post Doctoral candidates are encouraged to apply. Please send an email enquiry with your CV.
Sustainable electricity production and storage are critical to address the greatest threat facing us toady i.e. climate change. Therefore, almost 200 years after the discovery of ion conducting solids by Michael Faraday, today there is renewed interest in studying ionic and mixed (ion & electron) conductors for applications in batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. Thrust areas of our work are discussed below.
Co free High-energy-density Li and Na ion battery cathodes
We investigate cathodes that utilize the redox of the oxide ion to provide high energy density while being free from expensive elements like Co.
Inexpensive sustainable cathodes
We explore safe, sustainable, inexpensive cathode materials composed of Na or multi-valent ion ions (like Mg2+, Ca2+ and Zn2+) and polyanionic materials etc. as a high energy density yet cost effective alternative to Li-ion batteries. We optimize their performance based on their electronic properties and structural phase transitions.
We utilize in-situ and ex-situ structural and spectroscopic characterization to determine the redox mechanisms, failure and degradation mechanisms and develop design strategies for improved performance
Solid Electrolytes and Solid-state battery
We investigate solid electrolytes for liquid free solid- state batteries that have huge potential for high energy density, safe, non-flammable, thin, fast charging batteries.