BatteryLithium-air batteries are viewed by many as a potential next-generation technology in energy storage. With the highest theoretical energy density of all battery devices, Li-air could revolutionize everything from electric vehicles to large-scale grid storage. However, the relatively young technology has a few barriers to overcome before it can be applied. A new study published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) is taking a fundamental step forward in advancing Li-air through the development of mixed metal catalyst that could lead to more efficient electrode reactions in the battery.

The paper, entitled “In Situ Formed Layered-Layered Metal Oxide as Bifunctional Catalyst for Li-Air Batteries,” details a cathode catalyst composed of three transition metals (manganese, nickel, and cobalt), which can create the right oxidation state during the battery cycling to enable both the catalysis of the charge and the discharge reaction.

Future opportunities

According to K.M. Abraham, co-author of the paper, the manganese allows for the catalysis of the oxygen reduction reaction while the cobalt catalyzes the charge reaction of the battery.

“This offers opportunities for future research to develop similar materials to optimize the catalysis of the Li-air battery using one material that will combine the functions of these mixed metal oxides,” Abraham says.


Glass supercapactors

Researchers place a block of glass between a cathode and anode, and then exerted steady pressure on the glass while gradually heating it.
Image: Douglas Benedict of Academic Image

A new study published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society describing novel finding in how glass transforms under intense electrical and thermal conditions could potentially spur development in glass supercapacitors, which could bolster the performance of batteries now used for electric vehicles and solar energy.

“This technology is relevant to companies seeking the next wave of portable, reliable energy,” says Himanshu Jain, Lehigh University professor and co-author of the study. “A breakthrough in the use of glass for power storage could unleash a torrent of innovation in the transportation and energy sectors, and even support efforts to curb global warming.”

This from Lehigh University:

McLaren’s work in Marburg revealed a two-step process in which a thin sliver of the glass nearest the anode, called a depletion layer, becomes much more resistant to electrical current than the rest of the glass as alkali ions in the glass migrate away. This is followed by a catastrophic change in the layer, known as dielectric breakdown, which dramatically increases its conductivity. McLaren likens the process of dielectric breakdown to a high-speed avalanche, and using spectroscopic analysis with electro-thermal poling as a way to see what is happening in slow motion.


Lithium battery

Image: ANL/Flickr

A new open access paper published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society entitled, “Lithium-Ion Cathode/Coating Pairs for Transition Metal Containment,” finds a new cathode coating for li-ion batteries that could extend the technology’s lifespan.

According to Green Car Congress, the dissolution of transition metals is a major contributor to a li-ion battery’s expedited aging and degradation. However, this new study published in JES by ECS members David Snydacker, Muratahan Aykol, Scott Kirklin, and Christopher Wolverton from Northwestern University makes the case for a new, promising candidate that can act as a stable coating and limit the dissolution of transition metals into the lion electrolyte. That candidate is Li3PO4.

This from “Lithium-Ion Cathode/Coating Pairs for Transition Metal Containment”:

There are several distinct categories of strategies for limiting TM dissolution from the cathode. Electrolytes can be tailored to reduce reactivity with the cathode. Cathode materials can be doped to control the oxidation states of transition metals. This doping can be applied to the entire cathode particle or just near the surface. Cathode materials can also be covered with surface coatings to limit TM dissolution. Surface coatings can perform a variety of functions for different cathode materials. In this work, we evaluate the ability of coating materials to contain TMs in the cathode and thereby prevent TM dissolution into the electrolyte.


JESDeadline: June 15, 2016

ECS  is seeking to fill the position of Technical Editor of the Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry, Electrocatalysis, and Photoelectrochemistry Topical Interest Area for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

The Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry, Electrocatalysis, and Photoelectrochemistry (PAEEP) Topical Interest Area (TIA) includes fundamental aspects of interfacial science and electroanalytical chemistry. Specific topics include double layer theory and experiments, theoretical and experimental aspects of electrocatalysis, in situ spectroscopy, photoelectrochemical cells, scanning probe microscopy, and X-ray and electron microscopy methods.

The Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) has been in existence since 1902. Along with the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS), JES and JSS provide unparalleled opportunities to disseminate basic research and technology results in electrochemical and solid state science and technology. JES and JSS each publish a minimum of 12 regular and focus issues each year. All ECS journals offer Author Choice Open Access.

ECS maintains 13 TIAs, and there is one Technical Editor for each TIA, supported by Associate Editors and an Editorial Advisory Board. Technical Editors for the ECS journals ensure the publication of original, significant, well-documented, peer-reviewed articles that meet the objectives of the relevant journal, and are within the scope of the Society’s TIAs.

Read the full description of the position and contact ECS Deputy Executive Director & Publisher Mary Yess if you would like to be considered or recommend someone for the position.

An article by Shelley D. Minteer and Henry White as part of the JES Focus Issue Honoring Allen J. Bard.

Allen J. Bard AwardThe Electrochemical Society founded the Allen J. Bard Award in 2013 to honor Prof. Allen J. Bard’s extensive contributions in the field of electrochemistry, and the first award was given in May 2015 at the ECS meeting in Chicago. In recognition of the establishment of this endowed award, we are delighted to dedicate this special issue of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society to Professor Bard.

Allen was born in New York City in 1933 and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at City College of New York 1955. He continued his studies at Harvard University under the supervision of James J. Lingane, a renowned electroanalytical chemist, and received a Master’s degree in 1956 and a PhD in 1958. He then accepted an instructor position at the University of Texas and quickly moved up the ranks to Professor in 1967.

In the 58 years since arriving in Austin, Allen has mentored over 75 PhD students and 150 post-doctoral fellows. Their combined contributions to the field of electrochemistry are legendary, including electroanalytical techniques for evaluating electrode reaction mechanisms, simultaneous electrochemistry electron spin resonance (SEESR) techniques, nonaqueous solvents for investigating energetic species, electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL), polymer modified electrodes, semiconductor photoelectrochemistry, photocatalysis, scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), and single-particle collision electrochemistry.


Battery technology for water desalination

Inspired by the principles of the sodium ion battery, Kyle Smith (right) is re-appropriating technology to make huge strides in water desalination.
Image: L. Brian Stauffer

Battery applications range from powering electronic devices to storing energy harvested from renewable sources, but batteries have a range of applications beyond the obvious. Now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are taking existing battery technology and applying it to efforts in water desalination.

The researchers have published the open access article in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

“We are developing a device that will use the materials in batteries to take salt out of water with the smallest amount of energy that we can,” said Kyle Smith, ECS member and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “One thing I’m excited about is that by publishing this paper, we’re introducing a new type of device to the battery community and to the desalination community.”

Water desalination technologies have flourished as water needs have grown globally. This could be linked to growing populations or drought. However, because of technical hurdles, wide-spread implementation of these technologies has been difficult. However, the new technologies developed could combat that issue by using electricity to draw charged salt ions out of the water.


JES Seeks Technical Editor

ECS is seeking to fill the position of technical editor of the electrochemical engineering topical interest area for the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

Wanted: JES EditorThe topical interest area includes industrial electrochemistry, the mathematical modeling of electrochemical reactors and devices, electrochemical machining, and the electrochemical synthesis of compounds. Specific topics include: kinetics, selectivity, and yields; mass, momentum, and heat transport; and electrode designs and evaluation.

Self-nominations and third-party nominations are due no later than February 5, 2016.

Full applications are due no later than February 12, 2016.

Learn more!

Please share with anyone you feel would be a good candidate.

First Communication Article Published

JESECS just published its first Communication article in JES entitled “CommunicationIn Situ Formation of Anticorrosive Mg (OH)₂/Carbon Composite Film on Magnesium Alloy by Absorbic Acid-Assisted Hydrothermal Process.”

The authors are Takahiro Ishizaki, Naosumi Kamiyama, Erina Yamamoto, Sou Kumagai, Tomohito Sudare (all from Shibaura Institute in Tokyo, Japan), and Nagahiro Saito (Nagoya University).

Communications is a special category of short article for publication in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) or ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS). Communication articles are brief articles or reports that describe impactful research wherein dissemination prior to a full complete study/paper will substantially benefit the electrochemical or solid state community.

This article will be free in the ECS Digital Library for a limited time.

Focus Issue Deadline Extended

focus_issues_coversCall for Papers
JES Focus Issue:

Electrochemical Interfaces in Energy Storage Systems

Submission Deadline | June 20, 2015

Focusing on a better understanding of the mechanism of electronic and ionic transport phenomena across electrode-electrolyte interfaces and solid-state interphases in electrochemical energy storage systems. Learn more.

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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