Peter Bruce is Wolfson Professor of Materials at the University of Oxford. Prior to taking up this role in 2014, he was the Wardlaw Professor of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. His research interests embrace materials chemistry and electrochemistry, with a particular emphasis on energy storage. He played a key role in the foundation of the Faraday Institution, the UK’s centre for research on electrochemical energy storage, and is currently chief scientist.
Much of his work is concerned with materials for use in sodium and lithium batteries. Recent work has focused on three main areas: the all-solid-state battery, cathode materials and the lithium-air battery. Recent solid-state battery work includes understanding the fundamental processes that result in voiding, dendrite growth and ultimately cell failure. He is using this understanding to devise strategies that allow cells to operate under realistic conditions. In the area of cathode materials, work has focused on the synthesis and understanding of new materials for lithium and sodium-ion batteries. He is particularly interested in understanding the oxygen redox processes in high-capacity materials. He is a pioneer of the lithium-air battery and has elucidated the fundamental processes underpinning its operation.
Professor Bruce’s pioneering work has resulted in many advances. For example, it was believed for many years that ionic conductivity was confined to amorphous polymers above their glass transition temperature but he overturned this view with the discovery of crystalline polymer electrolytes.
Peter has been recognised as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics each year since 2015. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society and took up the position of Physical Secretary and Vice President in 2018.