Waterloo chemist among world's most highly cited researchers

Friday, August 1, 2014

Linda NazarWaterloo Chemistry Professor Linda Nazar has been named a Thomson Reuters’ 2014 Highly Cited Researcher, and is on their list of 2014 Most Influential Scientific Minds. Nazar ranks within the top one per cent of scientists worldwide for the number of academic citations received within their subject field.

In academia currently it is no longer just about publish or perish, scientists must demonstrate international impact,” said Professor Terry McMahon, Dean of Science. “This award confirms Professor Nazar’s outstanding worldwide reputation in solid state electrochemistry.”

In total, the scientific papers published by Nazar’s team have been cited more than 9600 times with an average of almost 70 citations per paper.

To measure citation impact, Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science research article database tracks how many times a researcher’s article appears in the reference list of other academic publications. It’s like looking at the number of Retweets or Facebook Likes to measure impact on social media.

The research impact of Nazar’s team can be traced to previous breakthroughs in Li-ion, Na-ion and Li-oxygen battery materialsand more recentlyto their 2009 seminal Nature Materials paper demonstrating the feasibility of a lithium-sulfur battery using nanomaterials.

This paper alone has been cited more than 700 times, has led to collaborations with Toyota and BASF SE, has resulted in patents in three countries, and has been translated to other high impact publications from her group in the field.

Lithium-sulfur batteries are widely seen as a possible key to mainstreaming the electric car. They have the potential to increase today’s current driving range from 200 miles to more than 400 miles on one charge, at much less cost than today's Li-ion batteries.

Nazar’s team is also developing cheaper alternatives to lithium-based batteries such as sodium-ion and magnesium-ion technologies for large-scale electricity grid storage, and exploring new electrochemical science for vehicular transportation.

Overall, her research into improving battery performance using nanotechnology is set to revolutionize our transportation and energy infrastructure.

Nazar holds the Canada Research Chair in Solid State Energy Materials. In addition to her faculty position in the Department of Chemistry, she is a member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy. She is also a member of BASF’s Research Network on Electrochemistry and Batteries and serves as a lead scientist on the US Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.