Open AccessA new open access publication platform for African researchers is set to launch in early 2018. The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has partnered with open access publisher F1000 to launch AAS Open Research, which will provide a transparent, post-publication peer review system for AAS-funded and affiliated researchers.

By using the F1000 publishing platform, African researchers will be able to immediately publish their work online and gain access to an efficient, transparent peer review. Once the article appears online, F1000 will arrange a peer review that will appear alongside the article. The authors of the work will then have the opportunity to make recommended changes based on the review. Upon passing peer review, the papers will be indexed in abstract databases.

The implementation of this system aims to level the playing field for research in low-income countries, where the perception of the quality of research may be lower than that of higher-income countries. Additionally, it also allows for African researchers to quickly and easily find a home for their work.


Focus IssuesDeadline Extended: December 22, 2017

This 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 has been extended to December 22, 2017. Submit today!


ResearchOn November 14, 2017, Clarivate Analytics published its annual list of Highly Cited Researchers with the overarching declaration that “whether ‘Highly Cited’ or ‘Hot,’ these researchers are making a significant impact.”

Some of our most distinguished ECS members have been noted this year as the “world’s most influential scientific minds” often listed multiple times in the categories of physics, chemistry and materials science.

Below, find a short list of those members of The Electrochemical Society whose research on electrochemistry and solid state science and technology is shaping the scientific discourse. Read the full article.

Khalil Amine (F)
Phaedon Avouris
Yury Gogotsi (F)
Michael Graetzel
Joseph Hupp
Thomas Jaramillo

Prashant Kamat (F)
Jim Yang Lee
Nathan Lewis
Joachim Maier (F)
Arumugam Manthiram (F)
Linda Nazar
Kostya Novoselov

Stefano Passerini
Patrick Schmuki
Bruno Scrosati (F)
Yang Shao-Horn (F)
Jean-Marie Tarascon
Martin Winter (F)
Gleb Yushin


Focus IssuesSubmit your manuscripts to the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS) Focus Issues on Semiconductor-Based Sensors for Application to Vapors, Chemicals, Biological Species, and Medical Diagnosis by February 14, 2018.

This JSS focus issue aims to cover various active or passive semiconductor devices for gas, chemical, bio and medical detection, with the focus on silicon, GaN, dichalcogenides/oxides, graphene, and other semiconductor materials for electronic or photonic devices. The scope of contributed articles includes materials preparation, growth, processing, devices, chemistry, physics, theory, and applications for the semiconductor sensors. Different methodologies, principles, designs, models, fabrication techniques, and characterization are all included. Integrated systems combine semiconductor sensors, electric circuit, microfluidic channels, display, and control unit for real applications such as disease diagnostic or environmental monitoring are also welcome.


Copyright Battle Impacts ResearchGate

ResearchA copyright battle between ResearchGate and a handful of publishing giants continues as the academic social network bends to pending legal pressure, restricting access to at least 1.7 million scholarly articles.

This move comes after a push from the Coalition for Responsible Sharing in early October, stating that if ResearchGate does not work to remedy what the CRS deems “copyright infringements,” that the group will begin taking formal steps to address the issue. The CRS consists of ACS Publications, Brill, Elsevier, Wiley, and Wolters Kluwer.

“ResearchGate’s primary service is taking high-quality content written and published by others and making as many as 7 million copyrighted articles—40% of its total content—freely available via its for-profit platform,” said an October 5 statement from CRS. “Numerous attempts to agree with ResearchGate on amicable solutions . . . remained unsuccessful. Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing are therefore now resorting to formal means to alter ResearchGate’s damaging practices.”


Did you know that ECS is partnered with Curran Associates to provide print-on-demand (POD) editions of a nearly complete catalogue of ECS Transactions issues? For all those who prefer a print edition, you are in luck!

The enhanced issues from ECS Transactions volume 80 (232nd ECS Meeting in National Harbor, MD) are now available for purchase as POD softcover editions from More information can be found from the links below:

In addition to the National Harbor enhanced issues, Curran offers hundreds of other print-on-demand ECST titles dating back to 2006. Visit for a complete listing of available issues.

ECS Named Publisher of the Month

Research4LifeECS is honored to report that Research4Life has recognized the Society as its publisher of the month. In a recent blog post, Research4Life highlights the wide scope and impact of its partnership with ECS.

Research4Life is a collective comprised of various programs, multiple institutions, and over 185 international scientific publishers committed to providing developing countries free or affordable access to critical scientific research.

ECS partnered with Research4Life this past March in an effort to help close the knowledge gap between high-income and low- and middle-income countries across the developing world.


ECS to Require ORCID iD

As of January 1, 2018, ECS will require all corresponding authors to have an ORCID iD in order to submit to the Journal of The Electrochemical Society or the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology. ORCID iDs will be published in accepted articles and included in articles’ metadata to improve content discoverability and citation.

Contributing authors who would like their ORCID iDs displayed along with the corresponding author’s iD will need to update their profiles in ECSxPress with their ORCID iDs prior to their paper’s acceptance.


Open Access Week 2017 Survey

ECS celebrated International Open Access Week 2017 by giving the world a preview of what complete open access to peer-reviewed scientific research looks like. ECS took down the paywall October 23-29, 2017 to the entire ECS Digital Library, making over 132,000 scientific articles and abstracts free and accessible to everyone.

Take a few minutes to tell us more about your experience.

This was the third consecutive year ECS took down its paywalls during Open Access Week, an annual event organized by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.

Eliminating the paywall during Open Access Week allows ECS to give the world a preview of the potential of its Free the Science initiative.


By: Yanbo Qi, Taejin Jang, Venkatasailanathan Ramadesigan, Daniel T. Schwartz, and Venkat R. Subramanian

This article refers to a recently published open access paper in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society, “Is There a Benefit in Employing Graded Electrodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries?

The contour plot for the resistance of a 2-layer graded cathode with different porosity combinations. Layer 1 is the layer near the separator, and layer 2 is near the current collector. The blue dot represents the point of minimum resistance (5.1164 Ω-cm2) for the 2-layer graded electrode. The diagonal line of ε1 = ε2 is equivalent to the single layer uniform case. The intersection point (5.3510 Ω-cm2) of the diagonal line with the contour is the optimal point for single layer design. The hatched area inside the contour represents the search space for 2-layer graded electrode design with resistance no bigger than the uniform optimal case. By introducing the 2-layer graded electrode structure, the feasible region changes from a point to a reasonably sized area. With the extra freedom in design, more objectives can be considered without resulting in an electrode with higher resistance.

Functionally graded materials have been widely developed in various fields, including the solid oxide fuel cells. However, its application in batteries is less common. Using simulation and optimization, both benefits and negligible improvement have been reported in the literature, depending on how the problem is formulated. The cases where people saw little impact by incorporating graded electrode design are cases where only one design objective, the energy density, is considered. While the cases where bigger improvement was reported are either compared to a base case as opposed to the best single layer case or considered with more than one design objectives.

In a recently published paper, we shared our opinion on this controversial topic. We applied two different optimization approaches to the secondary current distribution porous electrode model to confirm the optimal profiles acquired, and to facilitate the multi-objective optimizations later on. When looking at a single objective, minimizing the overall electrode resistance, and comparing with the optimal single layer case, only 4-6% modest reduction can be achieved. Therefore, we agree with the conclusion that for single objective optimization, graded structure does not make a big difference.

However, electrode design is not a simple matter where only one goal is desired. One of the powerful features of battery modeling is that it can give us insights on battery’s internal status, which is difficult to get otherwise. In our paper, we minimized the value and distribution of activation overpotential inside the electrode along with the overall resistance. What we discovered is that even though doing graded electrode cannot reduce the overall resistance much, with the extra design freedom in porosity distribution, the search space increased dramatically in the 2-layer graded electrode case compared to the single uniform layer case. The extra design space is very important in multi-objective optimization, allowing us to take into account other design considerations, including controlling the internal status. We believe that the value of graded electrode lies in the enlarged search space for additional design considerations, not just the improvement in a single objective.

Aligned with ECS’s commitment to Free the Science, we also believe that open access facilitates collaboration and speeds up scientific advancement. We have developed a free electrode design tool on our website ( This open access executable code is readily runnable on any Windows computer without extra software requirement. The tool allows users to change model parameters, thus can accommodate any electrode chemistry. Detailed explanation and instructions can be found on the webpage. We hope that this tool can help the community to achieve better battery performance.