Credit: American Chemical Society

Pesticides, extremely effective at killing pests, can also unfortunately pass on the same harmful effects to the people who use them—most commonly farmers. To combat the problem, researchers have developed a way to detect the presence of such compounds in the field using a disposable “lab-on-a-glove,” according to Phys.

Because different types of pesticides consist of different levels of toxicity, the protective glove is of particular importance, as it can be used to determine which compounds are present more accurately and quickly.

The new wearable, flexible glove biosensor carries out the sampling and electrochemical biosensing steps on different fingers. Detection of the collected residues is performed when the thumb touches the printed enzyme-based organophosphate biosensor on the glove index finger. (more…)

The Current State of Battery Research

By: Marca Doeff, ECS Battery Division Chair

Marca Doeff, a staff scientist in the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chair of the ECS Battery Division, discusses the future of batteries. Doeff covers advancements and developments, notable contributors and leaders, corporate sponsors and supporters, upcoming meetings and awards, all within the battery field.

What are a few current areas of battery research the division is focusing on?
Anything having to do with lithium-ion batteries, since they are turning out to be the real workhorses of the battery world. While the chemistry is fairly mature at this point, there is still a lot of work going on in silicon anodes, trying to find better cathode materials, and improving electrolytes.

There are also intense efforts going into recycling, advanced manufacturing, and understanding and mitigating safety issues. The so-called “Beyond Li-ion” systems have been the focus of a lot of research in recent years. The ideas for many of these have been around for a while-like lithium metal batteries with sulfur cathodes, or sodium ion (one of my favorites), solid state batteries, or even multivalent chemistries, but the revolution in battery science over the past 25 years or so means that it is worthwhile taking a fresh look at these systems. (more…)

Photo: UCL Interactive Architecture Lab

Few of us are lucky enough to have a green thumb. The perfect balance of sunlight, climate, and water requires a special, intuitive touch. A little too much water, a little too little, and turns into gunk or withers. A little too much sun, a little too little, and wastes away and shrivels. And, so it goes.

Well, gardening just got a little easier. According to Inhabitat, students at University College London’s Interactive Architecture Lab have designed a nomadic, self-driving, and self-cultivating garden named Hortum machina, B. Like an autonomous car, the mobile garden responds to the environment, in this case, moving towards or away from sunlight, shade, and unhealthy levels of air pollution, as needed. (more…)

New energy system prototype from Chalmers University that can store the sun’s energy for up to 18 years. Image by: Chalmers University of Technology

According to Science Alert, scientists have recently figured out a way to store solar power for up to 18 years.

It’s made possible with a specialised fluid, called a solar thermal fuel, that’s catching the attention of numerous investors, according to the research team at the Chalmers University of Technology working on the project. (more…)

2018 ECS Summer Fellowship Winners

Summer 2018 was a good one for Aashutosh Mistry and Haegyum Kim. Both were awarded ECS Summer Fellowships to further explore their research within a lab and to advance within their fields.

Aashutosh Mistry

Aashutosh Mistry, recipient of the Edward G. Weston Summer Fellowship.

“The ECS Summer Fellowship program offered me the time and money to explore questions and pursue research I couldn’t explore during my PhD. Without the fellowship, I couldn’t have done this,” says Aashutosh Mistry, a PhD student at Purdue University.

Mistry is one of five recipients of the 2018 ECS Summer Fellowship program designed to assist students during the summer months, June through August, in the pursuit of work in a field of interest to ECS. He is just one example of how the fellowship directly effects and encourages young researchers to explore and expand their studies.

Mistry explains that during his PhD study, he’d often discover problems he thought were worth pursuing. However, because these problems were not considered part of the main objective of the project, and also considering deadlines and time constraints, Mistry did not have the flexibility to explore these questions.

“You often cannot pursue these science questions, which, at end of the day, ties back into the project,” says Mistry, adding, “These things they take time.”

The Edward G. Weston Summer Fellowship offered him the opportunity to dive into these very questions. (more…)

Have you ever picked up your cell, looked at the battery life, and go, “But I just charged this thing. What gives?” It’s not just you. According to The Washington Post, the smartphones battery life is getting worse. And, chances are, you’re new and upgraded 2018 smartphone’s battery life is actually worse than older models.

Phone makers have claimed to have tackled this battle by including more-efficient processors, low-power modes, and artificial intelligence to manage app drain, but it’s no secret to the battery industry that the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones have hit a plateau.

So, what gives? According to Nadim Maluf, CEO of a firm that optimizes batteries called Qnovos, batteries improve at a very slow pace, about 5 percent per year. (more…)

According to The Verge, MIT is investing $1 billion into an AI college due to an ongoing drought of AI developers and researchers. The hope is that the new college, The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, will act as both a global center for computing research and education, and an intellectual foundry for powerful new AI tools, according to MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

The new college will train students from a broad range of disciplines and fields, like biology, chemistry, physics, politics, history, and linguistics. MIT’s goal with this is two. First, to examine ethical considerations relevant to computing and AI by including diverse perspectives; second, to teach a wide scope of students what they believe is “the bilinguals of the future.” (more…)

Q&A with George E. Blomgren

George BlomgrenGeorge E. Blomgren is the author of “The Development and Future of Lithium Ion Batteries,” the most-downloaded Journal of The Electrochemical Society paper since April 2017. To put this in perspective, Blomgren’s article has had 26,817 downloads this year. That is over 4.4 times the average amount received by the next nine most-downloaded JES papers for this year. Since its publication in December 2016, Blomgren’s paper has been downloaded a total of 53,575 times.

We decided to revisit the man with the incredible stats, and ask, how did you do it?

(more…)

Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
December 14, 2018
Submit today!

Topic Close-up #4

Symposium A06: Battery Safety and Failure Modes

Symposium Focus: Energy storage needs for advanced industrial and consumer electronics devices demand increasingly higher lithium-ion battery (LIB) specific energy and power densities. Increased LIB functionality via higher specific energy, extremely fast charging, and sophisticated management systems increases the need for a better understanding of LIB safety. (more…)

Opening Up About Open Access

In honor of International Open Access Week, from October 22-18, The Scholarly Kitchen wrote a two-part series focusing on both publishers and researchers from disadvantaged global research landscapes. The following publishers and researchers share their thoughts, concerns, successes, and setbacks on their journey to complete access for all. (more…)

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