Linda Nazar awarded the 2020 MRS Medal

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Linda Nazar
The Materials Research Society (MRS) presented Waterloo chemist Linda Nazar with the 2020 MRS Medal for outstanding contributions to advanced materials design, synthesis and characterization for energy storage, particularly Li battery technologies.” 

The internationally recognized honour, which she shared with Yi Cui of Stanford University, was announced this month at the virtual 2020 MRS Fall Meeting.

The MRS Medal is awarded for “an exceptional achievement in materials research in the past ten years”. Nazar presented her award-winning work as part of a Lightening Talk where she described energy storage materials that go “beyond lithium”, including promising new developments in solid state batteries and approaches to creating lithium-sulfur cells.

Linda Nazar is a world leader in inorganic materials research, best known for her advancements in battery systems and clean energy storage. One of her most recent publications on solid-state batteries in collaboration with the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) shows how solid electrolytes can potentially replace liquid organic electrolytes in today’s lithium-ion batteries.

Solid electrolytes are safer and longer lasting, but the rate at which lithium cations diffuse through the solid material limits the battery’s ion conductivity. Nazar and her group showed the anions within a normally static electrolyte framework can move in a coordinated fashion, creating a paddlewheel effect that helps speedup the diffusion of lithium cations. The work has the potential for designing batteries at a molecular level.

Professor Nazar has published more than 200 papers, review articles, and patents in the field, which have been cited over 41,000 times. Her work has earned her a place on the Web of Science’s 2020 Highly Cited Researcher Lists. In 2018, she was named a Clarivate Analytics' (formerly Thomson-Reuters) Highly Cited Researcher in both the fields of Chemistry and Materials Science.

Nazar holds many titles including Officer for the Order of Canada and the Canada Research Chair in Solid State Energy Materials. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada as well as a Fellow and Foreign Member of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of sciences. 

Congratulations, Professor Nazar!