Fall 2020 Seminar Series: Kang Xu
Host: Mingwei Chen
As one of the most prominent technologies in human history, Li-ion batteries (LIBs) have significantly reshaped our life since their initial commercialization in early 1990s.
Unlike many scientific discoveries, LIB was not born at a single “Eureka” moment. The battery is a system consisting of multiple components. For such a system to function precisely, like a clock, all components must be electrochemically synchronized. The history of LIB development witnessed such painful synchronization, which proceeded simultaneously with the development of intercalation science as well as many other components.
This seminar aims to recount the history of how accidental discoveries, intentional breakthroughs, and even deceiving misconceptions interplayed to generate the unique chemistries and materials for such a sophisticated electrochemical device. As Churchill once said: “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” Knowing the history of LIB helps us to develop better batteries.