Peter Bruce is Wolfson Professor of Materials at the University of Oxford. His research interests embrace materials chemistry and electrochemistry, with a particular emphasis on energy storage, especially lithium and sodium batteries. Recent efforts have focused on the synthesis and understanding of new materials for lithium and sodium-ion batteries, on understanding anomalous oxygen redox processes in transition metal oxides used as high capacity Li-ion cathodes, the challenges of the lithium-air battery and the influence of order on the ionic conductivity of polymer electrolytes. His pioneering work has provided many advances. For example, Peter discovered ionic conductivity in crystalline polymers and described the mechanism of conduction, when previously conductivity was considered to occur only in amorphous polymers above their glass transition temperature (liquid state). He is a pioneer of the lithium–air battery and has elucidated the fundamental processes underpinning its operation, specifically O2 reduction in aprotic solvents. The lithium-air battery has the highest theoretical energy density of any battery and could transform energy storage.
Peter’s outstanding research has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards and fellowships. He received the Tilden Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2008, the Carl Wagner Award of the Electrochemical Society in 2011, the Liversidge Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016 and the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society in 2017. He’s also been selected as Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
As well as directing the UK Energy Storage Hub (SuperStore) and a consortium on lithium batteries, Peter is a founder and Chief Scientist of the Faraday Institution, the UK centre for research on electrochemical energy storage. In 2018 he was appointed as Physical Secretary to the Royal Society.