The full potential of wireless devices remains unattainable due to limitations in battery performance. It is the thesis of the guest editors and contributing authors of this issue of MRS Bulletin that there is much room for improvement, that we are still far from the practical limits of the technology, and that materials research has the capability to pave the way for a new generation of rechargeable batteries that will offer a dramatic improvement in power delivery over anything available today. The basics of battery operation, including the relevant electrochemistry, are reviewed, unsolved problems are enumerated, and prospective solutions are indicated.
Donald R. Sadoway, Guest Editor for this issue of MRS Bulletin, is the John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The author of more than 100 scientific papers and holder of 12 U.S. patents, his basic research centers on electrochemical processes in molten salts, liquefied gases, and polymers. His applied research is directed toward environmentally sound technologies for extracting, refining, and recycling metals; cryogenic electro-synthesis of materials; and lithium–solidpolymer batteries. He obtained a BASc degree in engineering science, an MASc degree in chemical metallurgy, and a PhD degree in chemical metallurgy, all from the University of Toronto. After a year of postdoctoral study at MIT as a NATO fellow, he joined the faculty in 1978.
Sadoway can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne M. Mayes, Guest Editor for this issue of MRS Bulletin, is a professor of polymer physics in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research activities include the development of new materials for rechargeable polymer batteries, filtration membranes, and biomedical devices, as well as fundamental studies of the thermodynamics of block copolymers and thin films. She received her bachelor's degree from MIT in 1986 and her PhD degree from Northwestern University in 1991, both in the field of materials science and engineering. Following a two-year appointment as a visiting scientist at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., she joined the MIT faculty in 1993. Mayes currently serves on the Council of the Materials Research Society, as treasurer of the Neutron Scattering Society of America, and as a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.
Mayes can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.