Jeff Dahn

Jeff Dahn

Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science
Dalhousie University

Chair title

NSERC/Tesla-Canada Industrial Research Chair in Long-Lived, High-Energy Density and Low-Cost Lithium-Ion Batteries for Automotive and Energy Storage Applications

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 1996


Jeff Dahn has been a senior NSERC Industrial Research Chair in materials for advanced batteries, supported by 3M Canada since 1996. During that time, he and his team have made several important contributions to lithium (Li)-ion battery technology. Most significant is the discovery, along with Dr. Zhonghua Lu, of a new class of positive electrode materials for Li-ion batteries. These materials incorporate nickel, manganese and cobalt in various ratios in their structures and are therefore referred to as NMC. NMC materials are currently used at a rate of about 40,000 tonnes worldwide in Li-ion batteries for power tools, electric vehicles and energy storage. Lu and Dahn’s work covers a large fraction of NMC materials for which royalty revenue is collected by 3M Canada.

In the last six years, much of the focus of the Dahn group has been on developing electrolyte additives for Li cells that increase their lifetime. Together with this, the group has pioneered advanced diagnostic methods that allow the impact of these additives to be determined in a few weeks instead of in years-long testing. When Tesla Motors announced the construction of the “Gigafactory” in the US in 2014, Jeff Dahn decided that he wanted to try to help Tesla in its quest for better batteries. So when the fourth term of the NSERC/3M Canada chair ended in June 2016, Dahn was ready for a new partnership with Tesla.

Tesla Motors, world leaders in electric vehicles and energy storage, rely on Li-ion batteries for their products. It is critical to Tesla's mission to increase the energy density, reduce the cost and increase the lifetime of the Li-ion cells used in these products. Jeff Dahn has established a one-of-a-kind laboratory focused on these issues. This partnership will allow Dahn and his team to make significant contributions to electrified transportation and electrical energy storage, with substantial benefits to all Canadians going forward.

Li-ion cells for electric vehicles need to last about a decade, while those for energy storage should last several decades. Improving the lifetime of such cells in short-term experiments requires the advanced diagnostics that the Dahn laboratory has pioneered and introduced over the last five years. Tesla recognizes the importance of these methods and Dahn's expertise and track record in joining this partnership.

Tesla Motors Canada ULC (Tesla Canada), the Canadian arm of Tesla, is the industrial sponsor for this application.


  • Tesla Motors Canada ULC

Contact information

Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science
Dalhousie University



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