Dr. Samantha Husmann particpates at the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting

Dr. Samantha Husmann will attend the prestigious 2022 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this week. She is one of only 611 young scientists selected in a highly competitive process from across the globe. This year, the topic is chemistry, perfectly reflected by Samantha’s research on next generation electrochemical materials (including, but not limited to, Prussian blue and Prussian blue analogues). Her positive energy and visionary research perspective will enrich the LINO22!

Ten years Energy Materials Group 🥳

5.3 Million seconds. 87,660 hours. 10 years. But who is counting😅

Time flies by fast when you are busy. Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the Energy Materials Group, my work family, and home away from home. Starting after returning from Yury Gogotsi‘s team (where I served as Humboldt Fellow and Research Assistant Professor) on June 1st, 2012, I had the privilege of creating my own group thanks to a 3.6 M€ starting grant from Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung at the INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials. We quickly diversified in topics at the energy/water research nexus, ranging now from supercapacitors to batteries, from capacitive deionization to desalination fuel cells, from ionic charge storage to ion separation. A strong backbone of our team is the ability to go all the way from material synthesis and characterization to in situ testing and (small) device benchmarking. I am grateful to our teams many alumni and alumnae, the wonderful people in our current great team, and the amazing people I am yet to meet and work with. I am very grateful to our collaborators and partners in research and science. I will abstain from giving a complete list, but I would be amiss not to mention a few very special collaborators (in alphabetical order): Doron Aurbach, Veronica AugustynGuang FengMarkus GalleiYury GogotsiFrank MücklichMichael NaguibChristian PrehalPatrice SimonMatthew Suss.

What will we be working on over the course of the next 10 years? I always tell students: the topic you may become famous for may be on a material who you have not hear from yet 😉 So I will refrain from any specific speculation here since we all know “time makes fools out of us all”. We will continue to advance our research on sustainable materials, energy materials recycling, control over ion selectivity, and high performance beyond-lithium energy storage technologies. And to push forward with our industry collaborators to transfer our next-next-generation materials and processes into applications. I cannot wait for it!

Let me close with a few accomplishments of our team from the last 10 years:

220 Peer review publications
6 Nature publishing group publications
16,489 total citations (23,662 if you include <2012)

19 Current group members
68 Alumni and alumnae

158 Conference presentations
45 Seminar talks
78 Poster presentations

53 H-index (60 if you include <2012)

10 Finished Ph.D. Theses
15 Finished Master Theses
5 Finished Bachelor Theses

9,793,132 € in research funding

4 Fellowships for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
1 ARCHES award
1 Bayer Foundation award
1 Leibniz Dissertation award
1 Umsicht Science award

Tag der offenen Tür 2022 – Open Day 2022

After 2 years Covid-hiatus, the open day of Saarland University and the INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials returned full swing on May 21st. Our team was all amped up to tell our visitors all about energy materials, water remediation, and why there is no cooler profession than being a material scientist / chemist / engineer. We discussed what an old factory ruin (of the “Blaufabrik”) in Sulzbach has to do with sodium-ion car batteries and why there is Lithium in Saarland mine water (and how to get it out). Naturally, most people were interested in our “build your own battery” station. This year, the age span from 4 to 70 and the CR2032 coin cells were equipped with Kynol activated carbon, 1 M aqueous potassium iodide solution, glass fiber separator, and a lot of positive energy. We charged them up to 1.2 V and powered a small fan to show to people: making batteries may be magical but is no mystery. I am very grateful to my wonderful team, especially Dr. Samantha Husmann, Dr. Emmanuel Pameté, Dr. Sarah Saleem, Stefanie Arnold, Behnoosh Bornamehr, Amir Haghipour, Mohammad Torkamanzadeh, and of course Christine Hartmann and Petra Lück for their support to make this day a resounding and wonderful success. And yes, our science Lego models were a big hit with many visitors (independent of their age). I am already excited about next year’s open day! Ready, set… go!