In May 2017, we sat down with ECS Senior Vice President Yue Kuo and ECS’s newly elected 3rd Vice President Stefan DeGendt at the 231st ECS Meeting in New Orleans. The conversation was led by Roque Calvo, ECS’s executive director and chief executive officer.

Kuo joined ECS in 1995. Since then, he has been named ECS fellow and served as an editor for both the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology. His research efforts have made a tremendous mark on the scientific community, earning him the ECS Gordon E. Moore Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Solid State Science in 2015.

DeGendt is also an ECS fellow and was recently elected to the Society’s board of directors. Since joining ECS in 2000, DeGendt has participated in the organization of several meeting symposia and currently serves as a technical editor of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.

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

(more…)

Yi Cui

Image: Yi Cui Lab

The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences today announced the 2017 Laureates of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. Starting with a pool of 308 nominees – the most promising scientific researchers aged 42 years and younger nominated by America’s top academic and research institutions – a distinguished jury first narrowed their selections to 30 finalists, and then to three outstanding Laureates, one each from the disciplines of life sciences, chemistry and physical sciences and engineering. Each Laureate will receive $250,000 – the largest unrestricted award of its kind for early career scientists and engineers.

ECS member Yi Cui was one of three awarded the 2017 Balvatnik National Award for Young Scientists.

Cui is a professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He is a member of ECS’s Battery Division and the San Francisco Section. Cui is being honored by the Balvatnik Family Foundation for his technological innovations in the use of nanomaterials for environmental protection and the development of sustainable energy sources.

“Professor Cui is a world-leading researcher in the fields of energy and nanomaterials science who is making extraordinary contributions to these important areas of technology,” says David Awschalom, member of the 2017 national award jury. “His approach towards achieving the goals of efficient storage and conversion of energy by exploiting precise nanoscale materials design is extremely creative, and is already having a global impact.”

(more…)

BatteryIn an effort to develop a more affordable, plentiful alternative to lithium-ion batteries, researchers from Purdue University are pursuing rechargeable potassium based batteries, demonstrating a way to derive carbon for battery electrodes from old tires.

“With the growth of rechargeable batteries for electronic devices, electric vehicles and power grid applications, there has been growing concern about the sustainability and cost of lithium,” says Vilas G. Pol, an associate professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University and former member of ECS. “In the last decade, there has been rapid progress in the investigation of metal-ion batteries beyond lithium, such as sodium and potassium.”

Researchers in the field believe that potassium based batteries show potential for large-scale grid storage due to their low cost and the abundance of the element itself.

“The intermittent energy generated from solar and wind requires new energy storage systems for the grid,” Pol says. “However, the limited global availability of lithium resources and high cost of extraction hinder the application of lithium-ion batteries for such large-scale energy storage. This demands alternative energy storage devices that are based on earth-abundant elements.”

(more…)

Nomination Deadline: August 15, 2017

You are invited to nominate qualified candidates for the ECS Georgia Section Outstanding Student Achievement Award.

The Georgia Section Outstanding Student Achievement Award was established in 2011 to recognize academic accomplishments in any area of science or engineering in which electrochemical and/or solid state science and technology is the central consideration. The award consists of a $500 prize. Explore the full award details on the ECS website prior to completing the electronic application.

P.S. The Georgia Section Outstanding Student Achievement Award is part of the ECS honors and awards program, one that has recognized professional and volunteer achievement within our multidisciplinary sciences for decades. Learn more about various forms of recognition and those who share the spotlight as past award winners.

EPDNomination Deadline: August 1, 2017

You are invited to nominate qualified candidate(s) for the ECS Electronics and Photonics Division Award.

The Electronics and Photonics Division Award was established in 1969 to encourage excellence in electronics research and outstanding technical contribution to the field of electronics science. The award recognizes authors who have made noteworthy scientific contributions and enhanced the scientific stature of the Society by the presentation of well received papers in the journal and at Society meetings.

The next award will be recognized at the 233rd ECS Meeting in Seattle, WA in May 2018 and the recipient will be invited to present the corresponding award talk. Explore the full award details on the ECS website prior to completing the electronic application.

P.S. The EPD award is part of the ECS honors and awards program, one that has recognized professional and volunteer achievement within our multidisciplinary sciences for decades. Learn more about various forms of recognition and those who share the spotlight as past award winners.

Volta MedalNomination Deadline: September 1, 2017

You are invited to nominate qualified candidate(s) for the Europe Section Alessandro Volta Medal.

The Europe Section Alessandro Volta Medal was established in 1998 to recognize excellence in electrochemistry and solid state science and technology research. The award consists of a silver medal and a $2,000 prize. The next award will be presented at the 234th ECS Meeting (as part of AiMES) in Cancun, Mexico in October 2018. Explore the full award details on the ECS website prior to completing the electronic application.

P.S. The Europe Section Alessandro Volta Medal is part of the ECS honors and awards program, one that has recognized professional and volunteer achievement within our multidisciplinary sciences for decades. Learn more about various forms of recognition and those who share the spotlight as past award winners.

By: Joshua D. Rhodes, University of Texas at Austin

Renewable grideScience is messy, but it doesn’t have to be dirty.

On June 19, a group of respected energy researchers released a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that critiqued a widely cited study on how to power the U.S. using only renewable energy sources. This new paper, authored by former NOAA researcher Christopher Clack and a small army of academics, said that the initial 2015 study had “errors, inappropriate methods and implausible assumptions,” about using only the sun, wind and water to fuel the U.S.

What followed was a storm of debate as energy wonks of all stripes weighed in on the merits of the PNAS analysis. Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford University professor who was the lead author of the 2015 study, shot back with detailed rebuttals, in one calling his fellow researchers “fossil fuel and nuclear supporters.”

Why the big kerfuffle? As an energy researcher who studies the technologies and policies for modernizing our energy system, I will try to explain.

In general, getting to a clean energy system – even if it’s 80 percent renewable – is a well agreed-upon goal and one that can be achieved; it’s that last 20 percent – and how to get there – that forms the main point of contention here.

(more…)

Job Hunting: A Student’s View

By: Josh Billy, The Ohio State University

The 232nd ECS Meeting will be featuring several new events, including the ECS Career Expo. As a PhD candidate moving ever-closer to defending my thesis, I couldn’t be more excited for this new addition.

I have been to three ECS biannual meetings and several local chapter events as a graduate student. I’ve used meetings to share my work, learn about a lot of interesting research from other groups, and perhaps most importantly, network. Meeting fellow electrochemists, especially those working on projects related to mine, is difficult to do anywhere other than ECS meetings. In a similar way, I’ve struggled to come across electrochemistry positions during my job search.

Because it’s always important to think ahead, I used the sponsor exhibits at previous meetings as a makeshift career fair. In Hawaii last year, I made my way around the booths and spoke to exhibitors while trying to get a feel for what types of jobs they might have available. The problem with the sponsor exhibit, however, is that the job types are limited; companies with sponsor exhibits are mostly (this is not always the case) making products that researchers use rather than for general consumers. The truth is that there are many more companies with electrochemistry positions available not previously represented at ECS meetings. The new ECS Career Expo will hopefully change that.

(more…)

Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory and Oregon State University have developed new cathode architecture for lithium-sulfur batteries. The team, led by ECS member Khalil Amine, incorporated graphene and sulfide nanoparticles to improve electrical conductivity in the promising lithium-sulfur batteries.

Lithium-sulfur batteries hold major promise as researchers explore the range of energy storage technologies. With an extremely high theoretical energy density, these batteries have the potential to store up to five times as much energy as today’s best lithium-ion battery.

But there are barriers preventing that theoretical density from becoming an actual density. Namely, the discharge products of sulfur electrodes and cycling intermediates produced.

(more…)

Open AccessOn June 21, publishing giant Elsevier won a legal judgement against websites like Sci-Hub, which illicitly offer access to over 60 million academic articles. The court ruled in Elsevier’s favor, awarding the publisher $15 million in damages for copyright infringement.

Since its establishment in 2011, Sci-Hub has become one of the most recognized sites in unauthorized paper sharing. Recent data suggests that the site receives upwards of 28 million download requests in just six months. However, Sci-Hub and other related sites were found to violate U.S. copyright laws in 2015. While the court filed an injunction, many continued providing free access to the otherwise paywalled content.

(RELATED: Open Access vs. Illegal Access)

Now, Elsevier is taking the fight to these websites. According to Nature, Elsevier holds copyrights for the largest share of the 28 million papers downloaded from Sci-Hub among all publishers. Further, copyrights for nearly 50 percent of all articles hosted on sites like Sci-Hub are held by three major publishers: Elseiver, Springer-Nature, and Wiley-Blackwell.

(more…)

  • Page 1 of 133