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Michael Metzger

Assistant Professor

Michael Metzger is the Herzberg-Dahn Chair and Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science (cross-appointed to Chemistry and Process Engineering and Applied Sciences) at Dalhousie University (since 2021). Metzger developed new methods to study the lifetime and aging of lithium-ion batteries at the Technical University of Munich in close collaboration with BASF and BMW (2013-2017). As a senior research engineer for Robert Bosch (2017-2020) in Sunnyvale, California, Metzger focused on solid-state lithium batteries and other energy storage and conversion technologies.

Most notably, Metzger co-developed on-line electrochemical mass spectrometry, an ultra-sensitive gas analysis technique that allows detection of small quantities of unwanted gases to diagnose battery cells (2015). Future development of this technique has been funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation in the framework of a $375k award (2021). Metzger also realized the first ever two-compartment battery test cell separating the positive and negative electrode through an edge-sealed solid lithium-ion conductor. This cell allows to study crosstalk phenomena in battery cells (2016). The combination of both techniques led to the discovery of oxygen release from nickel-rich layered oxide cathode materials by Metzger and colleagues (2017). This discovery reframed our understanding of electrolyte oxidation in high-voltage lithium-ion cells and established a fundamental limitation for the charging voltage in battery cells with layered oxide cathodes. Recently, Metzger’s team discovered that most reversible self-discharge of lithium-ion cells stems from a common manufacturing flaw. PET tape that holds stacked or would cells together dissolves and creates the unwanted redox shuttle dimethyl terephthalate (2023).

At Dalhousie University, Metzger leads a diverse group of young researchers that work on advanced batteries. He is a co-PI in the $6.1 million Dalhousie-Tesla alliance grant and the Dalhousie-Tesla research partnership on long-lived, high-energy density and low-cost lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and stationary energy storage. This is the only academic research partnership of Tesla worldwide. Metzger also works on sustainable sodium-ion batteries for grid energy storage, and new methods to understand battery aging. He teaches Physics and Chemistry courses at the graduate and undergraduate level. His courses focus on the way we produce, store, and consume energy.

Metzger has published 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and 11 patents (>3,000 citations, h-index: >20). He delivered 7 invited presentations at international conferences. Metzger has been recognized for his research contributions through award of the Herbert H. Uhlig Summer Fellowship for 2016 by the Electrochemical Society (ECS), the 2016 Evonik Industries Research Prize, the 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers “Strategy&” Award, and the 2017 TUM Presidential Award.

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