Startup company

In June 2007, Sujit Kumar and Mike Sinkura began working with the public library in downtown Palo Alto, California. Kumar is an India-born battery scientist, and Sinkura is from San Francisco. The two made phone calls, printed papers, faxed, and organized meetings in a common meeting room in the library. Over a four-month period, they…

Harness the best talent

Thackeray and Oman can work anywhere. They can leave Argonne National Laboratory and make their own way. If they choose this path, they will no longer need Department of Energy bureaucrats to review every project proposal. Just explaining whether or not an experiment is safe can be lengthy, so that’s a bonus. However, they do…

Andy Grove’s advice

In October 2009, Andy Grove, the former chairman of Intel and the godfather of Silicon Valley, invited Chamberlain and his Argonne team to his home in California. After meeting with Argonne’s team, Grove reviewed the battery race and said he saw silicon chips out of lithium ions. In the 1950s, the first integrated circuits were…

Negotiate with Koreans

Not long after, Chamberlain heard that General Motors was purchasing lithium-ion batteries from South Korea’s LG Chem for the latest Volt plug-in hybrid. The car is a product of the U.S. auto giant’s bid to seize leadership in electric vehicles. Chamberlain also heard that LG’s batteries use Argonne’s NMC. Not ready to be “Silence of…

New officer takes office

Chamberlain has three young children and needs to find a new job to support his family. He could try to start a business part-time. There is only one place in the Chicago area that is still focusing on nanotechnology with which he is very familiar: the Argonne Center for Nanomaterials. But when he applied for…

Jeff Chamberlain joins

It wasn’t until 2006, when Jeff Chamberlain joined Argonne National Laboratory, that NMC research began to make more progress. Chamberlain is large, muscular, relaxed, well-mannered, confident without being pretentious. In meetings, his voice always attracts everyone’s attention. Whenever there is a big fight in the venue, he usually has the advantage with his unique bass.…

“Burglary” Part Two

In 2010, Thackeray and Johnson were shocked by a report from Dalhousie University. Jeff Dahn, a professor at the university, is a battery researcher with a reputation. After applying for the NMC patent, 3M also applied for and obtained a patent for the NMC technology jointly developed by Dahn’s team and 3M. Dahn announced a…

“Burglary”

Don Withers entered Thackeray’s office. “Cajal thinks you are, plagiarizing, his ideas,” he said straight to the point. What? After learning that Thackeray applied to lock NMC’s provisional patent, Oman was furious, complaining that Thackeray had plagiarized his work. The Moroccan, who was recruited by Withers two years ago, is now part of the battery…

New from Casablanca

Now, from the Moroccan village of Benahmede to Casablanca, it is only half an hour’s drive by highway. But in the 1960s and 1970s, during Kaharil Oman’s childhood, the journey took twice as long as it does now, and people had to take buses along curvy paths. The town of Benahmed is neat, clean and…