Gasteiger-imageHubert Gasteiger of Technische Universität München’s Institute for Technical Electrochemistry will be awarded the 2015 Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry Division David C. Grahame Award for his work focusing on materials, electrodes, and diagnostics development for fuel cells and batteries.

The prestigious award was established in 1981 to encourage excellence in physical electrochemistry research.

Hubert A. Gasteiger has touched many aspects of electrochemical science, from academia to industry. He studied at UC Berkeley before he went on to do a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, followed by academic research with Jürgen Behm at Ulm University—where he established a research group in heterogeneous gas-phase catalysis and electrocatalysis.

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dahn-researchThe electric car industry is on the rise, but battery performance for these vehicles is still not where it needs to be to implement wide-scale usage. To address this issue, researchers from Dalhousie University have produced a ternary blend of electrolyte additives to improve the performance of the li-ion cell.

An open access paper recently published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) details a novel development in electrolyte additives that, once applied to the li-ion cell, demonstrate a very high charge-discharge capacity.

The team began their study by investigating the performance of NMC pouch cells and electrolytes with various sulfur or phosphorus electrolyte additives.

They concluded that the new additive will improve the life cycle performance of the li-ion battery, as well as improve upon its safety.

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Nanocarbons Division Award Winner

Guldi_DirkDirk Guldi of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg will be awarded the 2015 Nanocarbons Division Richard E. Smalley Research Award for his outstanding contributions to the areas of charge-separation in donor-acceptor materials and construction of nanostructured thin films for solar energy conversion.

The prestigious award was established in 2006 to recognize in a broad sense, those persons who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding and applications of fullerenes.

Dr. Guldi’s career has a robust background in academia and research. He has held positions at Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory, and has also served as the Associate Editor of the journal Nanoscale. Since 2004, Dr. Guldi has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and has been named among the world’s 2014 Highly Cited Researchers by Thomas Reuters.

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From Packing Peanuts to Energy Storage

The Electrochemical Society’s Vilas Pol has developed a new process to turn simple packing peanuts into energy-storing battery components.

Pol, an associate professor at Purdue University and active member of ECS, has thoroughly succeeded in turning one person’s trash into another person’s high-tech treasure. He and his team from Purdue University have developed a system that turns the puffy packing peanuts into nanoparticles and microsheets perfect for rechargeable batteries. Pol’s new generation of battery could even outperform the ones we currently use.

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Graphene Opens Door to Better Fuel Cell

The new development provides a mechanism for engineers to design a simpler proton separation membrane.Image: Nature Communication

The new development provides a mechanism for engineers to design a simpler proton separation membrane.
Image: Nature Communication

We’ve all heard of graphene’s tremendous potential, which may be able to change the manufacturing process in many industries. The wonder material could make production faster, cheaper, and more efficient across the board.

Now, three ECS members have collaborated with other fellow scientists to develop a single layer graphene that could change the landscape of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

ECS members Robert Sacci, Sheng Dai, and Matthew Neurock are contributing authors on the recently published paper, “Aqueous proton transfer across single-layer graphene”.

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Scientists of Ireland

Saint Patrick’s Day could have a multitude of different meanings depending on who you ask. For some, it holds a religious value. For others, it’s about celebrating the heritage and culture of Ireland. And for those who don’t fall into either of those categories, it’s simply an excuse to celebrate.

Here at ECS, we’re taking a different route this Saint Patrick’s Day. We’re shifting gears to take a look at the important scientists of Ireland who have helped shape electrochemistry and solid state science, as well as the modern Irish scientists who are working to advance the science and bolster innovation.

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Member Spotlight – Jim Edgar

Edgar's new patented process will allow for the building of better semiconductors.Source: Kansas State University

Edgar’s new patented process will allow for the building of better semiconductors.
Source: Kansas State University

The Electrochemical Society’s Jim Edgar has developed a new process to build better semiconductors, which will vastly improve the efficiency of electronic devices and help propel the semiconductor industry.

Edgar, a Kansas State university distinguished professor of chemical engineering and an active member of ECS since 1981, has just received a patent for his “Off-axis silicon carbide substrates” process, which is a way to build a better semiconductor. This new process could mean big things for the electronics and semiconductor manufacturing industries.

“It’s like a stacked cake separated by layers of icing,” Edgar said. “When the layers of semiconductors don’t match up very well, it introduces defects. Any time there is a defect, it degrades the efficiency of the device.”

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Member Spotlight – Nate Lewis

The development could help lead to safe, efficient artificial photosynthetic systems that replicate the natural process of photosynthesis that plants use to convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuel in the form of carbohydrates, or sugars.Source: Caltech

The development could help lead to safe, efficient artificial photosynthetic systems that replicate the natural process of photosynthesis that plants use to convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuel in the form of carbohydrates, or sugars.
Source: Caltech

The Electrochemical Society’s Nate Lewis is leading some pioneering research at Caltech with the vision of efficient, affordable, and effective renewable energy sources.

Dr. Lewis, an active member of ECS since 1982, has designed a novel electrically conductive film – which has the potential to result in the development of devices that can harness sunlight to change water into hydrogen fuel.

(Take a look at his plenary lecture on sustainable energy technology he gave at a past ECS meeting.)

“We’ve discovered a material which is chemically compatible with the semiconductor it’s trying to protect, impermeable to water, electrically conductive, highly transparent to incoming light, and highly catalytic for the reaction to make oxygen and fuels,” said Dr. Lewis.

He and his team have developed a process that allows the solar-driven production of fuel to be performed with record efficiency, stability, and effectiveness.

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rod-borupRodney Borup of the Los Alamos National Laboratory will be awarded the 2015 Energy Technology Division Research Award for his pioneering work in energy conversion and storage, specifically related to sustainability and fuel cells.

The prestigious award was established in 1992 to encourage excellence in energy related research.

Dr. Borup is widely recognized for his work in fuel cell transportation with such corporate and academic organizations such as General Motors and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). He joined LANL in 1994 as a post-doctoral researcher, where he would eventually move on to become the Program Manager for the Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technologies Program and Team Leader for Fuel Cells Program —titles which he currently holds.

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ECS’s Energy Technology Division has presented three distinguished student awards to be accepted at the 227th ECS Meeting this May in Chicago, IL.

The Energy Technology Division Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award will be presented to William Mustain of the University of Connecticut.

mustain-photoWilliam Mustain earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2006, followed by two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in ECS President Paul Kohl’s research group at Georgia Tech. He went on to join the Department of Chemical & Bimolecular Engineering gat the University of Connecticut in 2008.

Over the past twelve years, Prof. Mustain has worked in several areas related to electrochemical energy generation and storage, including: catalysts and supports for proton exchange membrane and anion exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers, high capacity materials for Li-ion batteries, the purposeful use of carbonates in low temperature electrochemical systems, and the electrochemical conversion and utilizations of methane and CO2.

Take a peak at his award address, “Near Room Temperature Conversion of Methane to Methanol.”

The Energy Technology Division Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award was established in 2011 to recognize and reward an outstanding young researcher in the field of energy technology.

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