Frontlines of Advanced Battery Technology Beyond Li-Ion: Progress and Future Challenges

Linda Nazar

University of Waterloo 

Abstract:  While it is is widely acknowledged that traditional Li-ion batteries - which work on the principle of reversible storage of electrons and Li-ions in bulk materials - are approaching their limits. The question is: what real opportunities lie beyond? This presentation will focus on the challenge to find better electrochemical energy storage systems that go “beyond Li-ion” batteries. Topics will encompass multivalent intercalation batteries, and cells that operate on the basis of “conversion” chemistry rather than conventional intercalation chemistry. These both represent exciting new technologies that could meet the needs for high energy density and/or high power storage.  Yet many barriers remain to realizing their full promise. They require cleverly designed nanomaterials for the electrodes, vastly different electrolyte strategies than those used for Li-ion batteries and advanced electrode architectures based on nanostructured design. Guiding materials development also requires developing a fundamental understanding of the underlying chemistry of redox processes, which will be a focus of this lecture which will particularly emphasize the comparison of conversion vs intercalation chemistry for rechargeable batteries. 

Biography: Linda Nazar, FRSC, is a Senior Canada Research Chair in Solid State Energy Materials and Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Canada. She is cross appointed to the departments of Chemistry, Physics and Electrical Engineering. She is a member of the Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is known for her work on on solid state energy storage materials with topics that span Li-S and Li-O2 batteries; Li-ion, Na-ion, Mg-ion and Zn-ion batteries, solid state electrolytes, and the role that nanotechnology plays in energy materials science. 

Prof. Nazar received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She then received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto in 1986, and was an Exxon postdoctoral fellow at the Exxon Research Labs in Annandale, N.J. Soon after, she joined the faculty at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Ontario Canada. She is a member of the Joint Centre for Energy Storage Research (USA), and the BASF Academic Electrochemistry and Battery Network (Germany).  Dr. Nazar is the recipient of several academic and professional honours and awards, including the Electrochemistry Society Battery Division Research Award (2009), the Rio Tinto Alcan Award for Electrochemistry (2010); the International Battery Association award (2011), the IUPAC Distinguished Women in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering award (2011), the August-Wilhelm-von-Hofman Lecture award (German Chemical Society, 2013), the International Lithium Battery Association award (2017), and she was the 2010 Moore Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.  Dr. Nazar is a Member of the Editorial Board of several scientific journals, including Energy & Environmental Science, Angewandte Chemie, ACS Central Science and others, and serves on several international scientific boards, panels, and committees. She has spent sabbaticals at UCLA; the Institute for Materials in Nantes, France; the CNRS in Grenoble, France; and at Caltech.  She is on the Web of Science’s 2014, 2016 and 2017 Highly Cited Research List, and their 2014 Most Influential Minds.