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In the Focus

Nature Conference on Materials Electrochemistry: Fundamentals and Application held in Shenzhen

Jan 22, 2018 Latest

Hosted by SUSTech and Nature Research, the Nature Conference on Materials Electrochemistry: Fundamentals and Applications was held in Shenzhen on January 13 to 15, 2018. This conference aims to explore current research progress on electrochemical energy conversion and storage. It also promoted discussions on the challenges facing advanced rechargeable batteries, fuel cells, and electrocatalysis systems.

Relying on the high-end influence of Nature Research in academic publishing and the close collaboration with select institutions around the world, “Nature Conference” provides a platform for the discussion of current and future development trends of science and technology. It also significantly promotes the communications and collaborations among scientists in relevant fields. The journals involved in organizing this conference include Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Energy, Nature Materials, Nature Energy, and Nature Nanotechnology.

As the key topic of the conference, materials electrochemistry is an important subject to study the conversion and storage between electrical energy and chemical energy. It combines fundamental significance with the prospect for immediate applications in the clean energy industry, as commented by Dr. Yaoqing Zhang, the Associate Editor of Nature Communications and one of the organizers of the conference. Energy shortage and environmental pollution are becoming key issues limiting the development of human society. Electrochemical energy conversion and storage possesses the advantages such as wider applicability, low pollution, and high conversion efficiency, which becomes a promising route for transitioning our society from its reliance on fossil fuels towards a more sustainable power supply. At present, the technology of electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles that is being vigorously promoted by lots of countries is relying on the latest research results in this field. At the same time, electrochemical energy conversion and storage technology also provides effective support for the development of many cutting-edge technologies, such as power supply for deep-sea exploration ships and our cell phones.

The conference provided an unrivaled opportunity for interaction and networking between scholars in academia and scientists in industry, promoting industry-academia-research cooperation. The participants include more than 100 established professors (including more than 10 academicians in the US, UK, Canada, and China) and 20 industry leaders from companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and Huawei. 

The conference kicked off on January 13. As the conference chairs, both Prof. Yusheng Zhao (dean of SUSTech Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies) and Dr. Khalil Amine (Manager of the Advanced Battery Technology programs at Argonne National Laboratory) chaired the morning session. Prof. Tao Tang (Vice President of SUSTech), Magdalena Helmer (Senior Editor of Nature), and Vincent Dusastre (Chief Editor of Nature Materials) delivered opening remarks, respectively. Both Mr. Yu Cai (Deputy Director of the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission) and Ms. Wei Huang (Deputy Director of the Material and Energy Department of the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission) attended the opening ceremony. Prof. Jens K. Nørskov form Stanford University, Prof. John T. S. Irvine from St. Andrews University, and Prof. M. Stanley Whittingham from Binghamton University then delivered plenary talks on electrocatalysis, fuel cells, and rechargeable batteries respectively.

After the plenary talks, the conference proceeded with 4 parallel sessions including lithium-ion batteries; next-generation energy storage technologies, electrocatalysis, and fuel cells, and voice from industry. There was a warm atmosphere in all the sessions. The enthusiasm of the guests and participants remained undiminished for three days. The conference came to an end on the afternoon of January 15. Dr. Nicky Dean, Chief Editor of Nature Energy, delivered the closing remarks and announced 8 best poster awards.

Source: SUSTech Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies

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