Ionic transport and electrochemical transformations underpin a broad variety of modern energy and information technologies. The classical examples include primary and secondary batteries ranging from centuries-old Volta piles and Leclanche elements to modern Li-ion and flow batteries that hold the promise of viable hybrid and electric vehicle technologies and grid-level storage. Ionic phenomena are at the core of the operation of solid oxide and polymer electrolyte fuel cells, which offer some of the highest efficiencies of fuel-to-energy conversion. Finally, the development of secondary metal-air and metal-water batteries will potentially open the pathway for energy storage at densities comparable to fossil fuels.
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Materials Today (2011) 14(11), 548-558