News, Reviews & Discussion of EEStor Inc. & Quantumscape Corporation
A curious energy storage tale has emerged once again from Silicon Valley. This one is brought to our attention first by longtime EEStory follower Antipodean in this topic thread which has already been picked over by the traditional gang of EEStor skeptics. We've heard this story before but this one we've heard before in more ways than one and that's what intrigues me mildly. Let's see if I can substantiate interest in this beyond surface curiosity. Start with the topic thread above to get more background--the published paper, results overview, etc.
First, what we have here is the typical media-hyped, eyebrow-raising junior student researcher invents world changing technology in high school science fair yada yada yada....this time a super-capacitor billed as ready to replace lithium ion cell phone batteries which can be charged in 20 seconds. Oh, and she hasn't even begun college yet. But, we are finding out about this because her supercap project won her a $50K reward at some child genius national science fair blah blah blah. First, sure ok, congratulations on the award. If we could just steer more high school students to the tough problems of material science, we'd all be levitating around 3D space with room temperature superconductive antigravity technologies el rapido quick.
Anyway, I guess I'm interested here because I see some recurring themes beginning with the name of this "inventor" beginning with EE. Second, I see a connection to rutile TiO2 in her work--we've seen that material come up before here.
What's really going on here is probably related to EESha Khare's father, Manoj Khare. So, let's dive into that a bit. He was one of the co-founders of Vihana Inc., a company bought by Cisco for its semiconductor technology. It wasn't a big company and the sales price was $30Mil. But, it seems obvious to me that Papa Khare has the material science background to account for the nearly miraculous high schooler's invention. He spent 15 years working at Intel working on new types of chips for memory or communications applications. In 2001, he must have joined a group of people who left Intel to form startup Vihana Inc. which was snapped up by Cisco in 4 years. Prior to that, Señor Khare acquired a bachelors of Electrical Engineering in India and a Masters in same at the University of Rochester. Now you see why his daughter's name is EE-Sha, EE-Stor....see how that works? But after a 2 year stint integrating Viahana into Cisco, Mr. Khare slipped into the ether...until his daughter invented a new supercapacitor. Ahem.
Manoj Khareis responsible for the architecture of Vihana'sspecialized processor and for the development of the Vihana hardware subsystem.He has worked on various aspects of computer systems for the past 16 years.Prior to Vihana,Manoj Khare was Principal Engineer and project leader in the Platform Architecture group in the Enterprise Architecture Lab at Intel Corp, responsible for definition of Intel's next-generation Itanium Server platforms.His responsibilities spanned systems architecture, interconnect protocol definition and server performance analysis.Previously, Manojwas Lead Architect and Project Leader responsible for the definition of the Scalability Port interconnect, a scalable point-to-point cache coherent interconnect for multi-node Itanium Server systems.He was a key contributor on the definition and design of Intel's Xeon & Itanium-2 Server Chipset (E8870 chipset).
Manoj has also worked on several microprocessors atIntel.He defined the backside bus protocol and L3-cache architecture on Intel's Itanium processor.He has worked on 80486 processor validation and Pentium processor platform performance analysis.He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Intel Achievement Award.Manojcurrently holds 6 issued patents, and has 13 applications at various stages of filing.He received his MSEE from the University of Rochester, and his BSEE from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
So Dad's real smart. What about Mom? Reena Khare--if my google fu is on--is herself some sort of science genius and associated with a few patents in the biology realm ("genomic technologies")? It looks like she was part of a research team at Incyte Inc in a Palo Alto R&D facility before it closed.
So what we have then is a team with a semiconductor fabrication background once again trying to crossover into the energy storage realm. Rutile surfaces again. (the crystal structure of which bears "resemblance" to barium titanate) There's some hydrogenation (ala Recapping Inc.) and a core shell (again recapping, quantumscape, and old eestor stuff). If you're looking for more on TiO2 nanorods, try this paper. And another. And another. What's missing here is a bit of a chemistry background.
Oh well, you're in luck for that too because the "inventor" had earlier work in that field (when she was not too busy and just a sophomore in high school). Yes, Mom probably had a hand in that one. Incidentally, another interesting influence in EESha's high school is probably her advisor, who seems to be some sort of ultra-teacher named Amanda Alonzo, who got a masters in something from Stanford. She won a California science teacher of the year award and has basically violated the laws of physics in education(see award below).
So in summary, yeah, the media got all of the key data points wrong. No, you won't be charging your cell phone in 20 seconds with technology invented by a teenager. No, such technology is not inventable by teenagers working alone. If you pull back the curtain, you find an accomplished hardware engineer/Father from Intel dabbling with his daughter's help in energy storage...while mom cooks up new chemistry approaches as well. Another family dream team ala Weir and company. There are no related patents apparently.
Add it all up and the central conclusion we can draw from all of this is that the mainstream media is stupid. Congratulations again to Miss Khare--she has a bright future in her parents next startup. (just kidding--her accomplishments are fantastic)