2018 MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit | Boston, Massachusetts

Tutorial ET06—The History of Li- and Li-Ion Batteries

Sunday, November 25, 2018
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Hynes, Level 2, Room 202

The year 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the report on the discovery of the Li element by August Arfwedson (1818). This incident set off a chain of events that eventually led to the invention of the Li-ion battery which deeply penetrated our daily life: powering our portable electronics, vehicles and gradually becoming part of the smart grid. As a device that integrates many materials and chemistries that were synchronized to work precisely with each other like a timepiece, Li-ion batteries did not happen all at once. It took decades of research and development, assisted by knowledge gradually accumulated in surface chemistry, electrochemistry, materials science and engineering. 

Looking back at the history of Li-ion batteries, we will benefit not only from the monumental technical achievement by those great minds in the field, but more importantly, examining the missteps occurred then from a modern perspective will teach us to understand and rethink what could have been done better to accelerate the development of the related technologies in the future.

The tutorial program is designed to consist of two segments.

1:30 pm
Lithium Based Anodes: A Look Back Into the History
Martin Winter

The most severe challenge during the development of LIB came from the anode side. In this section Prof. Winter will examine the historical events that gradually shift people away from the Li-metal anode to a carbonaceous and intermetallic host, and how the tide turned again in 2010, bringing us back to think about the Li-metal anode.

3:00 pm BREAK

3:30 pm
Electrolytes and Interphases in LIB
Kang Xu

This tutorial intends to give a comprehensive retrospect of how the electrolytes play the central role in bringing together these individual key components of LIB, and how interphases among them synchronize them to work together in a single electrochemical device.


  • Kang Xu, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
  • Martin Winter, Helmholtz-Institute Münster, University of Münster

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