Jeff Sakamoto

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering
(734) 763-2219

Jeffrey Sakamoto is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining UM, he was a faculty at Michigan State University for six years. Prior to that, he was a Senior Engineer at the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 7 years. He earned his Ph. D. (2001) in Materials Science and Engineering from UCLA. As a materials scientist and engineer with an interest in synthesis, processing, and functionalization of ceramics and hydrogels, his research is highly interdisciplinary and guided by the fields of energy storage/conversion and biomedicine.

Research Interests: 
The Sakamoto group studies materials and manufacturing processes to develop new energy storage and biomedical technologies. We take a holistic approach to research, entailing materials design and discovery, articulation into prototypes, and testing in relevant environments. While the connection between these seemingly disparate fields may not be obvious, they do share one aspect; nothing, or, more specifically, the absence of mass. In the context of advanced solid-state batteries, the absence of mass is manifested in the form of atomic vacancies. Our recent work demonstrates that deliberate and controlled creation of Li-ion vacancies, in garnet-based crystal structures, is key in demonstrating fast-ion conductivity at room temperature. This ceramic material conducts ions as fast as state-of-the-art liquid Li-ion electrolyte membranes, perhaps enabling advanced solid-state batteries.