M. Stanley Whittingham, Binghamton University, The State University of New York
Solid State Ionics—The Key to the Discovery and Domination of Lithium Batteries for Portable Energy Storage Leading to a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
The David Turnbull Lectureship Award recognizes the career contribution of a scientist to fundamental understanding of the science of materials through experimental and/or theoretical research, as exemplified by David Turnbull.
"for fundamental contributions to solid state ionics including the discovery of the key role of intercalation mechanisms, and the development and commercialization of rechargeable Li-ion batteries”
In 1967, a revolution began in solid-state electrochemistry when Ford Motor Company announced the high ionic mobility of sodium ions in beta alumina, a very non-stoichiometric material. To measure the ionic conductivity of these materials, mixed ion and electron-conducting electrodes were required such as LixV2O5 or NaxWO3. The concept of non-stoichiometry was not a part of the battery community’s language; Dalton’s Law still prevailed. The use of such mixed conductors that were fast ion conductors led to the recognition that intercalation reactions themselves could be used to store energy. ExxonMobil Corporation and MoliEnergy briefly commercialized LixTiS2and LixMoS2. It was not until an intercalation anode, C6Li, was combined with LiCoO2 that a commercially viable battery was available. Such batteries now dominate portable energy storage and are even entering MWh size grid storage. However, Li cells only store 11–25% of their theoretical capacity. We need to “close this gap,” and explore again the use of solid electrolytes that would enable the use of pure lithium anodes.
About M. Stanley Whittingham
M. Stanley Whittingham is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering at Binghamton University, The State University of New York (SUNY Binghamton). He is presently Director of the NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) based at SUNY Binghamton. He received his BA and DPhil degrees in chemistry from the University of Oxford. He has been active in Li-batteries since 1971, when he won the Young Author Award of The Electrochemical Society for his work on the solid electrolyte beta-alumina. In 1972, he discovered the role of intercalation in battery reactions, which resulted in the first commercial lithium rechargeable batteries that were built by ExxonMobil Corporation. In 1988, Whittingham returned to academia at SUNY Binghamton to initiate a program in materials chemistry. He was awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship in the Physics Department of The University of Tokyo in 1993. In 2002, he received the Battery Division Research Award from The Electrochemical Society. In 2012, he received the Yeager Award of the International Battery Association for his lifetime contributions to battery research; in 2015, he received the Lifetime Contributions to Battery Technology Award from the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt); in 2017, the Senior Research Award from the International Society for Solid State Ionics; and in 2018, Whittingham was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Fellow of both The Electrochemical Society and the Materials Research Society. He is Vice-chair, Board of Directors of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NYBEST).