Nobel laureate and climate advocate Al Gore is optimistic about climate change in his new TED Talk. In his talk, Gore proposes three questions — the answers of which help make the case for optimism on climate change.

Importance of Energy Storage

While society as a whole is moving toward cleaner, more renewable energy sources, there is one key component that is typically glossed over in the energy technology conversation: energy storage.

Developments in solar and wind are critical in the battle against climate change, but without advances in energy storage, our efforts may fall short. What happens when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing?

The folks at Popular Science are providing a friendly analogy to explain the the importance of energy storage.

Fighting the good fight in energy technology? Present your work at IMLB! Submit your abstracts today!

Are You Using the Right Words and Phrases?

Logan Streu, ECS Content Associate & Assistant to the CCO, recently came across a video that takes a close (albeit funny) look at the misleading or misused words frequently used in scientific research.

Is “scientific proof” an oxymoron? Is there really a gene for everything? Check out the video below to see some of the phrases that are often misused.

Want more science videos? Check out our YouTube channel!

Actress, comedian, and author Amy Poehler has put a lot of effort into empowering young girls in science for some time now. Her Smart Girls project took off in 2008, which serves as a place where future women can foster their curiosity and pursue opportunities in STEM. Now Poehler and her Smart Girls group are adding to the women in STEM conversation with their new series, “Experimenting with Megan Amram.”

Amram is a Harvard graduate, author, and comedian. The new web series serves as a perfect platform to continue what she already started in her book Science… for Her!. The parody science text is comedic in nature, but takes a hard look at the gender gap in STEM and offers up some pretty solid science as well.

As an added bonus, you can even get a step-by-step instructions on how to conduct Amram’s experiments.

PS: Head over to the ECS YouTube page to find more educational science videos.

ECS Masters – Allen J. Bard

“I took to electrochemistry like a fish to water.” -Allen J. Bard

Regarded by many as the “father of modern electrochemistry,” Bard is best known for his work developing the scanning electrochemical microscope, co-discovering electrochemiluminescence, contributing to photoelectrochemistry of semiconductor electrodes, and co-authoring a seminal textbook in the field of electrochemistry.

Bard is considered one of today’s 50 most influential scientists in the world. He joined the Society in 1965 and became an ECS Honorary member in 2013. ECS established the Allen J. Bard Award in 2013 to recognize distinguished contributions to electrochemistry.

You can also listen to Bard’s interview as an audio podcast.

Find the rest of the ECS Masters series on YouTube.

Printable Functional Materials

Potential technical applications of printable functional inks.

The videos and information in this post relate to an ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology focus issue called: Printable Functional Materials for Electronics and Energy Applications.

(Read/download the focus issue now. It’s entirely free.)

Printing technologies in an atmospheric environment offer the potential for low-cost and materials-efficient alternatives for manufacturing electronics and energy devices such as luminescent displays, thin-film transistors, sensors, thin-film photovoltaics, fuel cells, capacitors, and batteries. Significant progress has been made in the area of printable functional organic and inorganic materials including conductors, semiconductors, and dielectric and luminescent materials.

These new printable functional materials have and will continue to enable exciting advances in printed electronics and energy devices. Some examples are printed amorphous oxide semiconductors, organic conductors and semiconductors, inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials, silicon, chalcogenide semiconductors, ceramics, metals, intercalation compounds, and carbon-based materials.

A special focus issue of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology was created about the publication of state-of-the-art efforts that address a variety of approaches to printable functional materials and device. This focus issue, consisting of a total of 15 papers, includes both invited and contributed papers reflecting recent achievements in printable functional materials and devices.

The topics of these papers span several key ECS technical areas, including batteries, sensors, fuel cells, carbon nanostructures and devices, electronic and photonic devices, and display materials, devices, and processing. The overall collection of this focus issue covers an impressive scope from fundamental science and engineering of printing process, ink chemistry and ink conversion processes, printed devices, and characterizations to the future outlook for printable functional materials and devices.

The video below demonstrates Printed Metal Oxide Thin-Film Transistors by J. Gorecki, K. Eyerly, C.-H. Choi, and C.-H. Chang, School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University.

Step-by-step explanation of the video:

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ECS Masters – Esther Takeuchi

“Scientific discovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes you’re running faster or slower, but you always have to keep going.”
Esther Takeuchi

Esther Takeuchi was the key contributor to the battery system that powers life-saving cardiac defibrillators.


She currently holds more than 150 U.S. patents, more than any other American woman, which earned her a spot in the Inventors Hall of Fame. Her innovative work in battery research also landed her the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2008.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

You can also listen to this installment of ECS Masters as an audio podcast.

Alvin J. Salkind

Alvin J. Salkind in an undated photo.

“My nature is curiosity and The Electrochemical Society has gone a long way to satisfy my curiosity…” — A. Salkind

About two years ago, ECS began a conversation with Prof. Salkind about his proposal for a revised edition of Alkaline Storage Batteries. In the proposal we presented to John A. Wiley & Sons (our partner in publishing monographs), I said it was from “one of the ECS ‘giants’.”

That was quite true about Dr. Salkind. When I first met him (and ever after), I was engaged by his tremendous intellect, his wide-ranging curiosity, and his still being very much involved with his science.

Prof. Salkind was an emeritus member of ECS, having joined in 1952 as a student. He served the Society very well — as a Chair of our Battery Division and on an innovative committee called the New Technology Subcommittee. He became an ECS Fellow only in 2014, but over the course of his many years of involvement with ECS, he organized symposia, edited proceedings volumes, and chaired many committees.

Alkaline-Storage-Batteries

Cover of the Alkaline Storage Batteries book from 1969

In conjunction with developing a new edition of the Alkaline Storage Batteries book, Prof. Salkind began visiting ECS headquarters. We were immediately drawn in by his still-vibrant enthusiasm for the field and his fascinating anecdotes about other ECS notables in the field: Vladimir Bagotsky, Ernest Yeager, and Vittorio de Nora, among others. He was always willing to teach and to share. We were very fortunate to be able to “capture” Prof. Salkind in a very recent interview at the HQ office.

(Listen to it as a podcast. Watch the video.)

Professor Salkind generously considered ECS his technological home and brought his important monograph to be published by ECS. ECS is grateful to Dr. Salkind for his years of service to the Society and his contributions to the entire battery community; and we thank his family for supporting this remarkable person and sharing him with ECS.

Printable Functional Materials

Potential technical applications of printable functional inks.

The video and information in this post relate to an ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology focus issue called: Printable Functional Materials for Electronics and Energy Applications.

(Read/download the focus issue now. It’s entirely free.)

Printing technologies in an atmospheric environment offer the potential for low-cost and materials-efficient alternatives for manufacturing electronics and energy devices such as luminescent displays, thin-film transistors, sensors, thin-film photovoltaics, fuel cells, capacitors, and batteries. Significant progress has been made in the area of printable functional organic and inorganic materials including conductors, semiconductors, and dielectric and luminescent materials.

These new printable functional materials have and will continue to enable exciting advances in printed electronics and energy devices. Some examples are printed amorphous oxide semiconductors, organic conductors and semiconductors, inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials, silicon, chalcogenide semiconductors, ceramics, metals, intercalation compounds, and carbon-based materials.

A special focus issue of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology was created about the publication of state-of-the-art efforts that address a variety of approaches to printable functional materials and device. This focus issue, consisting of a total of 15 papers, includes both invited and contributed papers reflecting recent achievements in printable functional materials and devices.

The topics of these papers span several key ECS technical areas, including batteries, sensors, fuel cells, carbon nanostructures and devices, electronic and photonic devices, and display materials, devices, and processing. The overall collection of this focus issue covers an impressive scope from fundamental science and engineering of printing process, ink chemistry and ink conversion processes, printed devices, and characterizations to the future outlook for printable functional materials and devices.

The video below show demonstrates Inkjet Printed Conductive Tracks for Printed Electronic conducted by S.-P. Chen, H.-L. Chiu, P.-H. Wang, and Y.-C. Liao, Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Sec. 4 Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.

Step-by-step explanation of the video:

For printed electronic devices, metal thin film patterns with great conductivities are required. Three major ways to produce inkjet-printed metal tracks will be shown in this video.

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Member Spotlight – Luke Haverhals

What better day than Earth Day to highlight the work of ECS member Luke Haverhals, an assistant professor at Bradley University working in novel types of energy storage and conversion through the utilization of renewable, sustainable substrates such as hemp, wood, and silk.

Haverhals is a former student of current ECS 3rd Vice-President Johna Leddy. Since departing from Leddy and the University of Iowa, Haverhals has worked in an area focused on wielding natural fibers using ionic liquids (i.e. enhanced energy conversion devices).

Ionic liquids have been gaining much notoriety lately, with potential game changing electrolytes for energy conversion devices ranging from batteries to fuel cells.

Make sure to join Haverhals and other scientists pioneering world-changing research by joining ECS today and attending our upcoming scientific meeting!

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