Dr. Alvin Salkind Dies at Age 87

Dr. Alvin Salkin with Roque Calvo

Dr. Alvin Salkind with ECS Executive Director Roque Calvo at ECS headquaters May 19, 2015.

We have some very sad news. Long time ECS member, Dr. Alvin Salkind has died. He joined The Electrochemical Society in 1953 and continued as a member in good standing for more than 62 years.

This message from his family:

Dear ECS Society members,

We are sad to let you know that our father, Dr. Alvin J. Salkind, a fellow of the Electrochemical Society, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 87. Funeral services will be on Friday, June 12 at 10am at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Ave., Princeton NJ 08542. All are welcome to join us to celebrate his life and career.

James and Susanne

The first thing you need to know is that Dr. Salkind literally wrote the books on electrochemistry and alkaline batteries: Techniques of Electrochemistry Vol 1-3 with Ernest Yeager and Alkaline Storage Batteries with S. Uno Falk.

The ECS Digital Library will give you an idea of how important he was.

To say he was a friend of the Society is an understatement. He lived near the home office and made frequent visits. The picture above is from his latest visit. He was just here May 19th so Roque Calvo, ECS Executive Director, could interview him on video about his life (we’ll have that video soon). He was a pleasure and had lots of great stories.

Below is just a little from notes we gathered from the research we dug up from various sources about Dr. Salkind as we planned for the video interview:


New Development to Improve Energy Storage

Chemical phase map showing how the electrochemical discharge of iron fluoride microwires proceeded from 0 percent discharge (left), to 50 percent (middle), to 95 percent. Source:

Chemical phase map showing how the electrochemical discharge of iron fluoride microwires proceeded from 0 percent discharge (left), to 50 percent (middle), to 95 percent.
Source: AZO Materials

ECS student member Linsen Li, along with former member Song Jin, have recently completed the first part of their study focusing on the powerful potential of iron fluoride in lithium-ion batteries, which can improve energy storage.

“In the past, we weren’t able to truly understand what is happening to iron fluoride during battery reactions because other battery components were getting in the way of getting a precise image,” said Linsen Li, graduate student and research assistant at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

This development will likely impact energy storage and could, in the future, advance large-scale renewable energy storage technologies if the researchers can maximize the cycling performance and efficiency of the low-cost fluoride lithium-ion battery materials.


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!

Ushering in Next-Gen Batteries, Fuel Cells

ECS member

ECS member Shumin Fang was a contributor in a development that could dramatically improve the efficiency of batteries and fuel cells.
Image: Nature Communications

Sometimes the tiniest things could have the biggest impact—especially when it comes to battery technology.

New research from a collaborative team of engineers from Clemson University and the University of South Carolina developed a new material that could boost batteries’ power and help power plants.

ECS student member Shumin Fang of the University of South Carolina was a collaborator on the study. (Take a look at his paper on solid oxide fuel cells.)

The new material acts as a superhighway for ions, allowing for more powerful batteries and boosting the general efficiency of energy conversion.

Because batteries and fuel cells are limited by how fast ions can pass through the electrolyte, engineers must find a mix of electrolyte ingredients that allows for fast movement. This study proposes the answer to this in gadolinium doped ceria.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”.


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.


  • Page 8 of 10