Linda Nazar, a leading authority on advanced materials for electrochemical energy storage and conversion, teaches chemistry and electrical engineering at the University of Waterloo. For the past 15 years, she has concurrently led and integrated a highly regarded research team that investigates new nanomaterials with potential to change the efficiency of how electricity is stored. Among its many accomplishments, Nazar’s team has developed highly ordered interwoven composites that allow lithium-sulfur batteries to approach their theoretical energy density of approximately 2,600 wH/kg − a huge leap over the 200 wH/kg of today’s most energy-dense battery cells.
Nazar’s research focuses on materials chemistry and electrochemical studies of energy storage devices and solid-state chemistry and electrochemistry. She investigates structure-property relationships in solid-state materials capable of facile redox processes that involve electron, ion (and molecule) transport. The program spans the synthesis of new inorganic, polymeric, and carbonaceous materials. It also examines structural properties by a wide variety of techniques, including fundamental solid-state electrochemistry, diffraction methods, and solid-state NMR. The current solid-state electrochemistry program is focused on lithium-ion batteries and solid oxide fuel cells. In addition, a program in transparent conducting oxides and nanomaterials targets development of new materials for display devices and sensors.