Norman Wagner, Julie Hipp, Jeffrey Richards receive recognition for their work to broaden our understanding of carbon black suspensions
MELVILLE, N.Y., Nov. 15, 2023 — AIP Publishing and the Journal of Rheology congratulate Norman J. Wagner, Julie B. Hipp, and Jeffrey J. Richards — winners of the 2023 Journal of Rheology Publication Award for their paper, “Direct measurements of the microstructural origin of shear-thinning in carbon black suspensions.”
Bestowed annually, the Journal of Rheology Publication Award is presented to the best paper published in the journal over the preceding two years. Winners receive special recognition at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Rheology and a monetary award.
Through a novel combination of experimental approaches, the winning paper demonstrates how shearing forces impact the microstructure responsible for viscosity in suspensions containing carbon black, a material used in energy storage. The paper also provides a quantitative master curve which relates the material’s properties to how it may behave under stress.
“Our team takes a fundamental, reductionist approach to build foundational ‘textbook’ science that provides a basis for advancing the technology of energy storage materials more broadly,” said Wagner.
The goal, he added, is to create better energy storage devices by further developing our understanding of how the complex materials involved are impacted by processing flows, structure, and electrical and mechanical performance — and how each of these factors play off one another.
According to Wagner, his team’s findings explain a number of the complicated and occasionally contradictory behaviors others have noted in the literature and can be utilized by formulation scientists working on conductive slurries.
“These findings shed light into the mechanics and processing of carbon black suspensions but are potentially impactful to a broader range of attractive colloidal suspensions,” said Journal of Rheology Editor-in-Chief Dimitris Vlassopoulos. “Of particular value is the combined use of different experimental techniques over an unprecedented range of parameters, which allowed the authors to develop the proposed picture.”
“The clear presentation, richness of data, depth of analysis, and scientific and technological significance were the main criteria for selecting this paper out of many great contributions,” Vlassopoulos added. “It is indeed an outstanding paper that reflects the top quality of the Journal of Rheology. We strive to continuously publish papers of this caliber.”
Wagner’s interests and work sit at the intersection of chemical engineering and physics. As he describes it, his experience melds neutron scattering and allied structural methods with rheology to develop structure-property relationships — as demonstrated in the award-winning paper. A rheologist who studied at Carnegie Mellon University and Princeton with postdoctoral experience in Germany and Los Alamos, he is currently a faculty member at the University of Delaware.
Wagner said he’s deeply proud of his fellow authors, Hipp and Richards — a PhD student and postdoc, respectively — for their efforts in producing the body of engineering science this manuscript was developed from.
“The Journal of Rheology is the journal in our field, and receiving this recognition is a lifetime achievement,” he noted.
As for what’s next, Wagner said his team already teased that in the closing sentences of their winning paper: They are looking to build upon these new findings and provide another master curve that unifies behavior across a wide variety of material chemistries.
“Stay tuned!” said Wagner.
ABOUT THE JOURNAL OF RHEOLOGY PUBLICATION AWARD
Each year, the Society of Rheology (SOR) offers the Journal of Rheology Publication Award to the best paper published during the preceding two years. First presented in 1994, the award includes special recognition at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Rheology and a monetary prize. This award was first presented in 1994.
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