Is the Force With Us Yet?

In “The Lightsaber Battery,” author Richard Rogers asks if recent electric vehicle battery research makes a lightsaber battery possible. After reviewing Star Wars technology and the current state of battery technology, his conclusion is a conditional yes! However, the final stage of light saber development depends on a Kyber crystal which amplifies and channels the cosmic energy of the Force. Unfortunately, a crystal like that hasn’t been discovered in our universe yet.

Star Wars fans and electric battery developers do not despair! The need for longer-lasting electric vehicle batteries has raised cycle life goals similar to the lightsaber’s requirements—and electrochemists are rising to the challenge! That galaxy “far, far away” is coming closer and closer. (more…)

Data science is a hot topic in every industry. Are electrochemists late to the table? The Data Science Showcase at the 236th ECS Meeting is an opportunity to learn about new electrochemical and solid state research and the open source software and the datasets that underpin the work. The research talks are complemented by a demonstration on how to access, use, modify, and improve the open source tools and data associated with the research projects.

The symposium organizers, Daniel Schwartz, David Beck, and Mathew Murbach, recently guest edited an issue of Interface on the value of applying data science to electrochemistry. They quote early chemical engineering adopters of data science who describe it as the application of modern data management practices, statistical and machine learning, and advanced visualization to ask and answer new questions. (more…)

ECS announces a special opportunity for attendees

Interested in innovation programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF)? The NSF Directorate for Engineering’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) supports programs to accelerate NSF-funded and federally-funded fundamental research into market opportunities, and fosters public-private partnerships to advance technological innovation. IIP invests in high-tech small businesses and collaborations between academia and industry to transform discoveries into innovative commercial technologies with societal benefits.

Meet one-on-one with Jesus Soriano, NSF program director, Industrial Innovation and Partnerships Division, October 15-16 at the 236th ECS Meeting in Atlanta. Reserve your 15-minute meeting here:

Learn more about the IIP programs:


John B. Goodenough

Christina Bock, president of the Board of The Electrochemical Society (ECS), congratulated John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino who today were jointly awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

“On behalf of the entire ECS community, I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to our esteemed members: John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino on being awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry ‘for the development of Lithium-ion batteries,’” said Bock. “This is fitting recognition for the truly groundbreaking advancements these pioneers have made for our field and for the whole of humanity. Simply put, their research is the enabling science upon which the solutions to the grand challenges facing the planet—renewable energy, clean transportation, communications to name but a few—will be based. We are honored to count their almost 60 years of combined membership among our ranks.” (more…)

To compete globally in key energy sectors through the 21st century and beyond, the U.S. must accelerate the discovery and development of novel materials. The I05 symposium at the 236th ECS Meeting, “Accelerated Discovery and Development of Energy Materials,” is a unique opportunity for researchers and stakeholders from electrochemistry and materials research to meet, network, and initiate new collaborations in highly impactful research and development. The electrochemical research community focuses on important energy applications such as generation, storage, distribution, and utilization. The materials research community focuses on computational and experimental methodologies for accelerated materials discovery and development, and advancing multiple sectors. While rapid scientific advances are occurring independently in both fields, bringing world leaders from the two fields together is an extraordinary opportunity to achieve materials breakthroughs with the potential to revolutionize the U.S. energy sectors. (more…)

While most research is accomplished by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, a number of undergraduate-only institutions are also making significant contributions to electrochemistry. The Education in Electrochemistry symposium at the 236th ECS Meeting explores the challenges these primary investigators face that those at more research focused institutions do not. The symposium addresses teaching and curriculum ideas for incorporating electrochemistry into undergraduate programs — and also provides opportunities for undergrads to showcase their work.

In “How Do We Learn Electrochemistry,” Jeffrey W. Fergus decries the lack of formal electrochemistry educational programs. (more…)

Women at the Forefront of Science

As ECS celebrates the 40-year-anniversary of its first female president, Joan Berkowitz, it is important to note that ECS has a tradition of showcasing women in the sciences at its meetings. Carol A. Bessel, acting division director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), was the highlighted speaker at the annual business meeting at the 235th ECS Meeting. Valerie Browning, director of the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO), will deliver the ECS Lecture at the plenary session of the 236th ECS Meeting. If including, recognizing, and hearing women is critical to attracting and retaining talented women in the sciences, then Bessel and Browning are shining examples of women leading the way. (more…)

Elon Musk promised—and Jeff Dahn delivered! With the publishing of a ground-breaking paper in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES), Dahn announced to the world that Tesla may soon have a battery that makes their robot taxis and long-haul electric trucks viable. Dahn and his research group is Tesla’s battery research partner. Dahn says “… that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over one million miles and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.

According to Doron Aurbach, JES batteries and energy storage technical editor, “This comprehensive article is expected to be impactful in the field of batteries and energy storage. It is a very systematic study by one of the most renowned and prestigious electrochemistry groups in the world. It was a pleasure for me as a technical editor to handle this paper. It substantiates all the statements about the truly high quality and importance of JES, one of the leading and most prestigious journals in electrochemistry. JES provides an excellent service to the global electrochemistry community—and thousands of ECS members—regardless of ‘impact factors.’” As of today, Dahn’s JES article has received over 31,563 abstract views, over 17,000 articles downloads, and quotes in news outlets around the world. (more…)

Recent growth in space-related activities has presented numerous opportunities for electrochemistry in space. That’s why Greg Jackson, chair of the ECS High-Temperature Energy, Materials & Processes Division (H-TEMP) and mechanical engineering professor at the Colorado School of Mines, took it upon himself to bring the first-ever symposium dedicated to “Electrochemistry in Space” to the 236th ECS Meeting.

“As a board member and someone who cares about the Society expanding its audience, I felt that there are many activities going on in regards to applying electrochemistry in space and the uniqueness of the space environment merited a special symposium,” said Jackson, lead symposium organizer.

The potential for increased lunar and Martian activities with in situ resource utilization (ISRU), human space flight, and in-space satellite maintenance, and space debris management present many technical challenges and opportunities where electrochemistry plays a central role. (more…)

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