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MIT Technology Review

35 Innovators Under 35

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  • Christina Lampe-Onnerud

    34

    Christina Lampe-Onnerud’s energy is boundless. She’s a cellist, a master of jazz dance and has directed award-winning choruses. Boundless energy is also her technological goal. During doctoral work in inorganic chemistry in her native Sweden, Lampe-Onnerud patented a new cathode material that increased the power of lithium batteries. After leading research devising high-energy materials at two startups, she joined New Jersey-based Bell Communications Research in 1995.There she helped develop prototypes of the first lithium batteries made from thin-film polymers and the first practical process for manufacturing them. The batteries were smaller, more powerful and safer than conventional lithium batteries. Today the technology is licensed by many major battery makers. With seven more patents filed, Lampe-Onnerud now oversees 10 labs that investigate new battery materials for Tiax, which bought them from Cambridge, MA-based consulting firm Arthur D. Little. As a consultant, Lampe-Onnerud has led research teams at numerous companies. Her goal: “to cram as much power as possible into a battery without it blowing up.”