Transforming Energy Lecture Series

Friday, November 22, 2013
3:00 p.m.
Rm. 2110, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Annette Mateus
301 405 4799

Dr. Steven J. Visco, Chief Executive Office and CTO
Polyplus Battery Company

Co-Sponsored by Univ. of Maryland Energy Research Center and the Univ. of Maryland ECS Student Chapter

"Roadmap to Next Generation Batteries (Lithium-Air, Lithium-Sulfur, and Lithium-Water) based on PolyPlus Protected Lithium Electrodes"


The last major advance in portable electrochemical energy storage was the introduction of Li-ion chemistry by Sony in 1991. Since that time battery manufacturers have been relentless in pursuing incremental improvements to Li-ion technology. However, there are fundamental limits to any battery chemistry and Li-ion technology is clearly maturing. In pursuit of the next battery breakthrough, a number of researchers are exploring the Li/O2 and Li/S couples, due largely to their extremely high theoretical energy density and the low cost raw materials for both systems. However, in order to realize those gains, there are significant technical hurdles that must be addressed. Any practical Li/O2 battery will need to utilize ambient air, which presents a major challenge as ambient moisture will attack and rapidly corrode the lithium metal electrode. In the Li/S battery dissolved lithium polysulfides also attack the lithium metal electrode. Fortunately, the invention of the protected lithium electrode (PLE) by PolyPlus solves these problems and enables the practical construction of both primary and secondary lithium-air batteries as well as secondary lithium-sulfur batteries. However, the use of a solid-state electrolyte membrane to chemically isolate the negative electrode the rest of the battery environment introduces new manufacturing challenges (and opportunities). In this talk, I will present an overview of the status of development and roadmap for manufacturing these step-change technologies.


Steven Visco is the Chief Executive Officer, CTO, and co-founder of PolyPlus Battery Company in Berkeley, California, as well as a Guest Scientist in the Materials Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Visco received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Brown University in 1982 and spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scientist at the University of California at Santa Barbara working on advanced batteries. Dr. Visco then joined the staff at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a Principal Investigator in the Materials Sciences Division in 1984 where his research interests have included solid-state ionic devices such as batteries and fuel cells. Steven Visco co-founded PolyPlus Battery Company in 1991. Dr. Visco also serves on the Technical Advisory Boards for the Conrad Foundation and the CIC Energigune Institute in Miñano, Spain. Dr. Visco has published over 75 articles in scholarly journals and books, and currently holds 90 issued U.S. patents and more than 200 international patents. In 2011 Dr. Visco was awarded the International Battery Association Technology Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Lithium-Air and Lithium-Water Batteries.” PolyPlus was selected by TIME magazine for its 50 Best Inventions of 2011, and received an Edison Gold Award in April 2012.

Audience: Campus  Clark School  Graduate  Undergraduate  Faculty  Post-Docs  Alumni  Corporate  Donors 

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