Toyota Fellowships Come Full Circle

Joaquin Rodriguez Lopez

Joaquin Rodriguez Lopez presenting his work at the Toyota Research Institute of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In 2014, ECS and Toyota Research Institute of North America came together to establish the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship to support young researchers working in green energy technology. The partnership between ECS and Toyota aims to leverage the Society’s network of researchers, awarding fellowship winners a minimum of $50,000 to pursue novel research over a one year period.

“We try to give folks the opportunity to do research that is a little more outside of the box,” said Paul Fanson, manager of Toyota’s North American Research Strategy Office, “where they might have difficulty getting funding somewhere else.”

As this year winds down and the 2016-2017 fellows come to the tail end of the research period, fellowship winners Elizabeth Biddinger, City College of New York; Joaquin Rodriguez Lopez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Joshua Snyder, Drexel University recently took their work to Toyota’s site in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to report their findings, connect with industry researchers, and explore opportunities that extend beyond the funding time period.

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ECS Lecture with Steven Chu

The ECS Lecture during the 232nd ECS Meeting in National Harbor, MD, was delivered by Steven Chu. Chu is currently the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford. Previously, he served as U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Obama and was the co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contribution to laser cooling and atom trapping.

Chu’s ECS Lecture, “The Role of Electrochemistry in our Transition to Sustainable Energy,” focused on the risks society is facing due to changing climate, the evolving energy landscape, and the role of electrochemistry in providing critical technological advances.

During his lecture, Chu outlined the risks that modern society faces, which demand technological innovation to provide solutions. Namely, Chu stated that the rising climate poses significant risks to the global community. According to Chu, the Earth has warmed by an alarming one degree Celsius since 1975.

“One degree Celsius does not sound like a lot, but just a couple of degrees warmer would make a dramatic difference,” Chu said. “If the Earth does warm by two degrees Celsius, Boston will be underwater.”

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Carbon dioxideAfter remaining steady for three years, global fossil fuel emissions are rising again and may increase again next year. But improved energy efficiency and a booming renewables market may offer a bit of a silver lining.

“This year’s result is discouraging, but I remain hopeful,” says Rob Jackson, professor at the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences at Stanford University and chair of the Global Carbon Project, which released a series of reports in Environmental Research Letters.

“In the US, cities, states, and companies have seized leadership on energy efficiency and low-carbon renewables that the federal government has abdicated.”

The report appears with data published simultaneously in an Earth System Science Data Discussions paper led by Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia, who is also part of the Global Carbon Project.

Together, they forecast that global fossil fuel emissions will reach a record 37 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, with total emissions reaching a record 41 billion tons, including deforestation. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration reached 403 parts per million in 2016, and is expected to increase by 2.5 parts per million in 2017.

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Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
November 17, 2017
Submit today!

Meeting TalksTopic Close-up #5

Symposium B04: The International Symposium on Nanomaterials: Focus – Korea

Symposium Focus: This mega-symposium is dedicated to cover science and applications in nanocarbons and other nanoscale materials, and present the contemporary state-of-the-art of this field in Korea. It is sponsored by the Nanocarbons, Dielectric Science and Technology, and Electronics and Photonics Divisions, and the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Subcommittee of the Electrochemical Society, along with the Korean Electrochemical Society.

The primary goal of this symposium is to share the most recent results and promote USA-Korea scientific cooperation efforts. Papers are solicited on experimental and theoretical studies related to the basic chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering of nanocarbons, fullerenes, porphyrins, supramolecular, inorganic-organic hybrid and functional materials, nanotubes, graphene and 2D layered materials, as well as on their novel applications in areas such as energy and catalytic conversion, sensors, medicine and biology, electronic and photonic devices, and materials development.

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A reversible fabric keeps skin a comfortable temperature whatever the weather—and could save energy by keeping us away from the thermostat.

As reported in Science Advances, the double-sided fabric is based on the same material as everyday kitchen wrap and can offer warmth or cooling depending on which side faces out.

“Why do you need to cool and heat the whole building? Why don’t you cool and heat individual people?” says Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University, who thought if people could be more comfortable in a range of temperatures, they could save energy on air conditioning and central heating.

Thirteen percent of all of the energy consumed in the United States is due to indoor temperature control. But for every 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) that a thermostat is turned down, a building can save a whopping 10 percent of its heating energy—and the reverse is true for cooling. So adjusting temperature controls by just a few degrees could have major effects on energy consumption.

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Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
November 17, 2017
Submit today!

Topic Close-up #4

Symposium H04: Wearable and Flexible Electronic and Photonic Technologies

Symposium Focus: With the advent of connected living, health and communication, and its proliferation to the development of the internet of things, wearable devices are a critical technology. Underlying advancements in wearable and flexible electronic and photonic technologies, are materials science of new and alternative materials and methods of coating and deposition, characterization of flexible and transparent or plastic electronic devices, the electronics behind new sensor development for wearables and flexible technology, and new device design concepts. This symposium will address all aspects of wearable and flexible devices technology, from materials through working prototypes and provide a leading international forum for the most exciting developments in the fundamental science and device engineering of next-generation electronics and photonics for a whole range of applications.

Invited Speakers and Special Features: Many inspirational speakers and leaders in wearable and flexible science and technology will be featured in this symposium, including Joe Wang, Mark Hersam, Huisheng Peng, Zhong Lin Wang, Bozhi Tian, Yuri Gogotsi and many others. The symposium

Focus IssuesThis focus issue of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) is devoted to proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) durability. Commercialization of light duty fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) was initiated in December 2014 and now three automakers offer FCVs. Commercial viability was enabled by R&D efforts that reduced the cost and extended the lifetime of FCV PEMFC systems by a projected >60% and 4x, respectively, over the past decade.

However, market share for FCVs has been limited thus far, primarily due to an insufficient hydrogen fueling infrastructure, but also to the still considerable cost of fuel cell systems able to reach the 8,000 h target lifetime. For example, it is recognized that a decrease in platinum loading negatively impacts durability. It is projected that a 5% world market share for FCVs will be reached in 2033. With substantial market share many years away and the considerable cost of current FCVs, research into the durability of materials for fuel cell systems that can concurrently lower the system cost will play a significant role in technology developments for many years to come. This focus issue of the JES will collect the most recent research papers and reviews of technical issues related to the durability of PEMFCs.

The deadline for submissions is December 3, 2017. Submit today!

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ECS hosted its first ever satellite OpenCon event on October 1, 2017 during the 232nd ECS Meeting in National Harbor, MD. This landmark event marked ECS’s first large community effort aimed at creating a culture of change in how research is designed, shared, discussed, and disseminated, with the ultimate goal of making scientific progress faster.

Watch full coverage of the event.

OpenCon is an international event hosted by the Right to Research Coalition, a student organization of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. OpenCon provides a platform the researchers to learn about open access and open science, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information.

This event featured vocal advocates in the open movement, examining the intersection of advances in research infrastructure, the researcher experience, funder mandates and policies, as well as the global shift that is happening in traditional scholarly communications.

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Researchers have developed a type of “smart paper” that can conduct electricity and detect water.

The paper, laced with conductive nanomaterials, can be employed as a switch, turning on or off an LED light, or as an alarm system indicating the absence or presence of water.

In cities and large-scale manufacturing plants, a water leak in a complicated network of pipes can take tremendous time and effort to detect, as technicians must disassemble many pieces to locate the problem.

The American Water Works Association indicates that nearly a quarter-million water line breaks occur each year in the United States, costing public water utilities about $2.8 billion annually.

The smart paper could simplify the process for discovering detrimental leaks.

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Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
November 17, 2017
Submit today!

Topic Close-up #3

Symposium E01: Electrodeposition of Micro and Nano Materials for Batteries and Sensors

Symposium Focus: This symposium will cover advances in electrochemical deposition (electrolytic, electroless, chemical bath or electrochemical ALD) for energy storage and sensor devices. The electronics industry has demonstrated electrochemical processing at micro and nano dimensions for interconnect, barrier layer, magnetics and solder applications for metals, alloys and composites. A large number of relevant active materials and current collector scaffolds can also be deposited, structured and post-processed electrochemically for use in advanced batteries and sensor devices. These processes can enable future micro-devices for the internet of things but equally can address improvements in certain components for large capacity batteries, electrolyzers or fuel cells. Our symposium welcomes also papers covering vapor deposition techniques such as ALD which can be used in combination with the wet chemical deposition routes for the fabrication of microdevices.

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