In May 2017 during the 231st ECS Meeting, we sat down with Doron Aurbach, professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, to discuss his life in science, the future of batteries, and scientific legacy. The conversation was led by Rob Gerth, ECS’s director of marketing and communications.

During the 231st ECS Meeting, Aurbach received the ECS Allen J. Bard Award in Electrochemical Science for his distinguished contributions to the field. He has published more than 540 peer-reviewed papers, which have received more than 37,000 citations. Doron serves as a technical editor for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and is an ECS fellow. His work in fundamental battery research has received recognition world-wide.

Listen to the podcast and download this episode and others for free on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Podbean, or our RSS Feed. You can also find us on Stitcher and Acast.

(more…)

Tackling Semiconductors in China

Some of the participants at the first ISCGC-2017.
Click to enlarge.

The 1st International Semiconductor Conference for Global Challenges (ISCGC 2017) was held in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, July 16-19, 2017. The conference was jointly sponsored by The Electrochemical Society and the Chinese Physical Society.

The 200-plus attendees from around the world addressed the global challenges of semiconductor science and technology. The conference covered a wide spectrum of semiconductor research areas including growth and characterization, electronic/optoelectronic/power devices and their applications, and energy devices and systems.

On hand were eight keynote and 40 invited speakers. Thirty-seven contributing papers were presented, along with 66 posters. The meeting included 10 invited and keynote speakers from ECS as well as the involvement of five ECS divisions (Electronics and Photonics, Dielectric Science and Technology, Luminescence and Display Materials, Sensors, and Nanocarbons).

“ECS wants to have an influence in this region of the world as to the way scholarly publishing is carried out,” says Roque Calvo, executive director of ECS. “We want to communicate the idea of our Free the Science initiative — embracing open science to further advance research in our fields.”

(more…)

SemiconductorThe next generation of feature-filled and energy-efficient electronics will require computer chips just a few atoms thick. For all its positive attributes, trusty silicon can’t take us to these ultrathin extremes.

With two new semiconductors, however, it may be possible.

Electrical engineers have identified two semiconductors—hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide—that share or go beyond some of silicon’s desirable traits, starting with the fact that all three materials can “rust.”

“It’s a bit like rust, but a very desirable rust,” says Eric Pop, an associate professor of electrical engineering, who coauthored with postdoctoral scholar Michal Mleczko a paper on the research that appears in the journal Science Advances.

The new materials can also be shrunk to functional circuits just three atoms thick and they require less energy than silicon circuits. Although still experimental, the researchers say the materials could be a step toward the kinds of thinner, more energy-efficient chips demanded by devices of the future.

(more…)

Bacteria-powered Paper Battery

Batteries made of lemons and oranges have been gracing grade school laboratories for years. In addition to fruit-based batteries, now you can make a battery using spit.

The new paper-based bacteria-powered battery can be activated with a single drop of saliva, generating enough power to power an LED light for around 20 minutes.

“The battery includes specialized bacterial cells, called exoelectrogens, which have the ability to harvest electrons externally to the outside electrode,” Seokheun Choi, co-author of the new study, tells Nexus Media. “For the long-term storage, the bacterial cells are freeze-dried until use. This battery can even be used in challenging environmental conditions like desert areas. All you need is an organic matter to rehydrate and activate the freeze-dried cells.”

(more…)

Editor’s note: This briefing was written in a joint collaboration between Admiral Instruments and Zahner Scientific Instruments. Admiral Instruments will be exhibiting (booth 400) at the 232nd ECS Meeting in National Harbor this fall. See a list of all our exhibitors.

lithium batteries

Image: Multiple stacks of lithium batteries

Problem

Methods combining EIS with charge-discharge cycles are among the most powerful tools available to collect in-situ information about electrochemical systems such as battery cells and stacks. However, accurately measuring the rapidly-changing states of the electrodes, electrolytes, and other non-steady-state materials within battery systems is a challenge.

This issue is particularly troublesome when changes in state occur at timescales even shorter than a single charge-discharge cycle or single EIS frequency sweep. Accurately interpreting results from an EIS measurement requires either making the ill-advised assumption of steady-state conditions throughout the duration of a frequency sweep, or accounting for drift effects by using modeling tools that are often time-consuming or ineffective.

(more…)

Steven Chu is currently the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics & Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. You might know him better as the former U.S. Secretary of Energy, the first scientist to hold a Cabinet position.

He was also the director at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Professor of Physics and Molecular Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, and head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

His research includes optical nanoparticle probes and imaging methods for applications in biology and biomedicine and new approaches in lithium ion batteries, air filtration, and other nanotechnology applications.

Along with two colleagues, Chu won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics “for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.”

He is also going to give the ECS Lecture at the 232nd ECS Meeting this fall in National Harbor, Maryland.

Listen to the podcast and download this episode and others for free on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Podbean, or our RSS Feed. You can also find us on Stitcher and Acast.

(more…)

Focus IssuesThe Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) Focus Issue on Progress in Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids is now closed, with 51 papers available in the ECS Digital Library. All papers are open access.

In the issue’s preface, authors Robert Mantz, Hugh De Long, Luke Haverhals, and Paul Trulove state, “The objective of this focus issue is to expose the broader community to the research going on in the area of molten salts and ionic liquids beyond that which is presented in the symposium that is organized every two years by ECS. Hopefully these examples of research being pursued will result in the possibility of additional collaborations with the community at large.”

For over 40 years, research related to molten salts and ionic liquids has found a home with ECS. Over the course of those years, interest in the area has expanded, leading unique applications in energy, sensors, rare earth and nuclear chemistry, electrodeposition, reactions, and solute and solvent properties.

Read the JES Focus Issue on Progress in Molten Salts and Ionic Liquids to learn more about the fundamental and applied research happening in the field.

PS: Access 14 original Proceedings Volumes in our Molten Salts Collection.

By: Benjamin F. Jones, Northwestern University and Mohammad Ahmadpoor, Northwestern University

What does hailing a ride with Uber have to do with 19th-century geometry and Einstein’s theory of relativity? Quite a bit, it turns out.

Uber and other location-based mobile applications rely on GPS to link users with available cars nearby. GPS technology requires a network of satellites that transmit data to and from Earth; but satellites wouldn’t relay information correctly if their clocks failed to account for the fact that time is different in space – a tenet of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. And Einstein’s famous theory relies on Riemannian geometry, which was proposed in the 19th century to explain how spaces and curves interact – but dismissed as derivative and effectively useless in its time.

The point is not just that mathematicians don’t always get their due. This example highlights an ongoing controversy about the value of basic science and scholarship. How much are marketplace innovations, which drive broad economic prosperity, actually linked to basic scientific research?

It’s an important question. Plenty of tax dollars and other funds go toward the research performed in academic centers, government labs and other facilities. But what kind of return are we as a society recouping on this large investment in new discoveries? Does scientific research reliably lead to usable practical advances?

(more…)

What’s a Battery Slam?

Battery Slam

Participants of the inaugural Battery Student Slam at the 231st ECS Meeting, from left to right: Sunhyung Jurng (session chair), University of Rhode Island; Mickdy Milien (session chair), University of Rhode Island; Robert Masse, University of Washington; Jeffrey Smith, University of Michigan; Jennifer Hoffmann (session chair), BASF Corporation; Vaclav Knap, Aalborg University; and Edward Thai, California State University, Long Beach.
(Click to enlarge.)

The first ever ECS Battery Student Slam symposium took place at 231st ECS Meeting in New Orleans, providing young researchers a new experience in presenting oral presentations at ECS meetings. After the success of the inaugural symposium, the Battery Student Slam is set to make its second appearance at the upcoming 232nd ECS Meeting in National Harbor, MD, October 1-5.

“We’re trying to create a symposium format that’s student-friendly,” says Brett Lucht, lead organizer of the symposium at the 231st ECS Meeting.

The symposium is open to students pursing undergraduate or graduate degrees geared toward battery-related research, ranging from battery materials and design to fuel cells and supercapacitors. Each student participating in the symposium delivers a 10 minute presentation about their work followed by two minutes of questions and discussion from the audience. The top three presentations in the symposium are then recognized with cash prizes and awards as judged by the symposium organizers.

“By putting students in their own symposium and giving them shorter periods of time for their presentations, we felt it would create less stress for the students,” Lucht says.

During the inaugural symposium at the 231st ECS Meeting, Wenhao Li from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst took home the first place prize with his talk, “Nanoimprinting of Woodpile Electrodes for 3D Lithium-Ion Microbatteries with Both High Capacity and Power.”

(more…)

MedicineResearchers have developed a new method for evaluating drug safety that can detect stress on cells at earlier stages than current methods, which mostly rely on detecting cell death.

The new method uses a fluorescent sensor that is turned on in a cell when misfolded proteins begin to aggregate—an early sign of cellular stress. The method can be adapted to detect protein aggregates caused by other toxins as well as diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

“Drug-induced protein stress in cells is a key factor in determining drug safety,” says senior author Xin Zhang, assistant professor of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State.

“Drugs can cause proteins—which are long strings of amino acids that need to be precisely folded to function properly—to misfold and clump together into aggregates that can eventually kill the cell. We set out to develop a system that can detect these aggregates at very early stages and that also uses technology that is affordable and accessible to many laboratories,” Zhang says.

(more…)

  • Page 1 of 138