Biography:Susan Odom

From HandWiki
Short description: American chemical engineer
Susan A. Odom
Alma materUniversity of Kentucky
Georgia Institute of Technology
Known forEnergy materials
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Kentucky
Doctoral advisorSeth Marder

Susan A. Odom (16 November 1980 – 18 April 2021) was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky who developed redox active organic compounds for energy storage applications.

Early life and education

Odom was inspired to explore STEM fields by her father who was a metallurgical engineer. She studied chemistry at the University of Kentucky and graduated in 2003, working under the supervision of Geoffrey Coates at Cornell University (a summer NSF REU) and John Anthony at the University of Kentucky. She moved to Georgia Institute of Technology where she conducted graduate research under the supervision of Seth R. Marder. After graduating in 2008, she moved to the University of Illinois as a postdoctoral scholar under Jeffrey S Moore. In 2011, she joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky.[1][2]

Research and career

Odom joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017.[citation needed] She developed new materials for energy storage applications, including redox shuttles for overcharge protection and electrolytes for redox flow batteries. She aspired to develop stable, soluble redox-active organic materials.

Lithium-ion batteries in series are at risk of being overcharged. If one cell is weaker – or has lower capacity than other cells in the series – the series cannot achieve 100% state of charge without overcharging the weaker battery. One way to mitigate overcharge is to incorporate internal shunts called redox shuttles into the battery electrolyte. The redox shuttle is oxidized at the cathode/electrolyte interface to form a radical cation, then is reduced at the anode/electrolyte interface to return to its neutral form. For every redox shuttle cycle, an electron is transported from the cathode to the anode. An effective redox shuttle will limit cell potential to its oxidation potential. Odom developed one of the most effective redox shuttles to date, mitigating charging currents as high as 1 C, which is defined as one charge/discharge cycle per hour.[3]

Challenges with using lithium-ion batteries for grid storage include the potential for catastrophic failure on a large scale as well as sourcing lithium and transition metals for cathode materials. Odom demonstrated promising results in the liquid-based electrochemical energy storage system called redox flow batteries. If capacities and cell voltages are sufficiently high, and if costs can be sufficiently low, these batteries will penetrate the market for grid-scale storage. Already installations exist throughout the world with aqueous vanadium-based electrolytes, but widespread adoption is limited due to economic viability. In 2016, Odom and Fikile Brushett demonstrated the performance of a phenothiazine derivative in a symmetric flow cell battery.[4] This material was patented and licensed to Tokyo Chemicals Incorporated. The pair later demonstrated the viability of two-electron donating materials for the positive side of a redox flow battery.[5][6]

In collaboration with chemist Chad Risko, Odom studied how strain alters the oxidation and reduction potentials of materials through the prevention of electronic relaxation.[7] In one case, a material was developed as a shelf-stable commercial oxidant.[8] She showed that substituents that induce strain raise oxidation potentials regardless of their Hammet coefficient.

Awards and honours

  • 2004 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship[9]
  • 2009 National Science Foundation American Competitiveness in Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellowship[10]
  • 2011 American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award[11]
  • 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 University of Kentucky Teacher Who Made a Difference Award[12]
  • 2014 Chemical Communications Emerging Investigator[13]
  • 2015 University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences Diversity in Research Award
  • 2017 University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Research Mentor Award[14]
  • 2017 University of Kentucky Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
  • 2017, 2018, 2019 Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement Scialog Fellow for Advanced Energy Storage[15]
  • 2020 American Chemical Society Women Chemists Committee Rising Star Award[16]

Odom served on the organizing committee for multiple symposia in the Materials Research Society. In 2020, Odom was elected as a Member at Large in the Battery Division of the Electrochemical Society. Odom served on the editorial board of Materials Today.[citation needed]


  • S.A. Odom, K. Lancaster, L. Beverina, K.M. Lefler, N.J. Thompson, V. Coropceanu, J.-L. Brédas, S.R. Marder, & S. Barlow. Bis(di-4-alkoxyphenyl)amino Derivatives of Dithienylethene, Bithiophene, Dithienothiophene, and Dithienopyrrole: Palladium-catalysed Synthesis and Highly Delocalised Racial Cations. Chemistry: A European Journal (2007) 13, 9637–9646. DOI: 10.1002/chem.200700668
  • S.A. Odom, S. Chayanupatkul, B.J. Blaiszik, O. Zhao, A.C. Jackson, P.V. Braun, N.R. Sottos, S.R. White, & J.S. Moore. A Self-Healing Conductive Ink. Advanced Materials (2012) 24, 2578–2581. DOI: 10.1002/adma201200196
  • S.A. Odom, T.T. Tyler, M.M. Caruso, J. Ritchey, M.V. Schulmerich, S.J. Robinson, R. Bhargava, N.R. Sottos, S.R. White, M.C. Hersam, & J.S. Moore. Autonomic Restoration of Electrical Conductivity using Polymer-Stabilized Carbon Nanotube and Graphene Microcapsules. Applied Physics Letters (2012) 101, 043106-1–043106-5. DOI: 10.1063/1.4737935
  • A.P. Kaur, C.F. Elliott, S. Ergun, & S.A. Odom. Overcharge Performance of 3,7-Bis(trifluoromethyl)-N-ethylphenothiazine at High Concentrations in Lithium-Ion Batteries. Journal of the Electrochemical Society (2016) 163, A1–A7. DOI: 10.1149/2.0951514jes
  • M.D. Casselman, C.F. Elliott, S. Modekrutti, P. Zhang, S.R. Parkin, C. Risko, & S.A. Odom. Beyond the Hammett Effect: Using Strain to Alter the Landscape of Electrochemical Potentials. ChemPhysChem (2017) 18, 2142–2146. DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201700607
  • J.D. Milshtein, A.P. Kaur, M.D. Casselman, J.A. Kowalski, S. Modekrutti, P. Zhang, N.H. Attanayake, C.F. Elliott, S.R. Parkin, C. Risko, F.R. Brushett, & S.A. Odom. High-Current-Density, Long-Duration Cycling of Soluble Organic Active Species for Non-Aqueous Redox Flow Batteries. Energy and Environmental Science (2016) 9, 3531–3543. DOI: 10.1039/C6EE02027E

Personal life

Odom lived in Lexington, KY. In high school and from 2006-2009, she bred and showed Maine Coon cats through the cattery Verismocat, which is known for its regional and national award winning cats such as GC, BW, NW Verismo Wotan-of-Valhalla.[17] Dr. Odom passed away after falling in her home on April 18, 2021. [18]


  1. "People | Odom Research Group". 
  2. "Susan Odom | Chemistry" (in en). 
  3. Kaur, Aman Preet; Elliott, Corrine F.; Ergun, Selin; Odom, Susan A. (2016). "Overcharge Performance of 3,7-Bis(trifluoromethyl)- N -ethylphenothiazine at High Concentration in Lithium-Ion Batteries" (in en). Journal of the Electrochemical Society 163 (2): A1–A7. doi:10.1149/2.0951514jes. ISSN 0013-4651. 
  4. Milshtein, Jarrod D.; Kaur, Aman Preet; Casselman, Matthew D.; Kowalski, Jeffrey A.; Modekrutti, Subrahmanyam; Zhang, Peter L.; Harsha Attanayake, N.; Elliott, Corrine F. et al. (2016). "High current density, long duration cycling of soluble organic active species for non-aqueous redox flow batteries" (in en). Energy & Environmental Science 9 (11): 3531–3543. doi:10.1039/C6EE02027E. ISSN 1754-5692. 
  5. Kowalski, Jeffrey A.; Casselman, Matthew D.; Kaur, Aman Preet; Milshtein, Jarrod D.; Elliott, Corrine F.; Modekrutti, Subrahmanyam; Attanayake, N. Harsha; Zhang, Naijao et al. (2017). "A stable two-electron-donating phenothiazine for application in nonaqueous redox flow batteries" (in en). Journal of Materials Chemistry A 5 (46): 24371–24379. doi:10.1039/C7TA05883G. ISSN 2050-7488. 
  6. Attanayake, N. Harsha; Kowalski, Jeffrey A.; Greco, Katharine V.; Casselman, Matthew D.; Milshtein, Jarrod D.; Chapman, Steven J.; Parkin, Sean R.; Brushett, Fikile R. et al. (2019-06-25). "Tailoring Two-Electron-Donating Phenothiazines To Enable High-Concentration Redox Electrolytes for Use in Nonaqueous Redox Flow Batteries" (in en). Chemistry of Materials 31 (12): 4353–4363. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b04770. ISSN 0897-4756. 
  7. Casselman, Matthew D.; Elliott, Corrine F.; Modekrutti, Subrahmanyam; Zhang, Peter L.; Parkin, Sean R.; Risko, Chad; Odom, Susan A. (2017). "Beyond the Hammett Effect: Using Strain to Alter the Landscape of Electrochemical Potentials" (in en). ChemPhysChem 18 (16): 2142–2146. doi:10.1002/cphc.201700607. ISSN 1439-7641. PMID 28590586. 
  8. Attanayake, N. Harsha; Kaur, Aman Preet; Suduwella, T. Malsha; Elliott, Corrine F.; Parkin, Sean R.; Odom, Susan A. (2020). "A stable, highly oxidizing radical cation" (in en). New Journal of Chemistry 44 (42): 18138–18148. doi:10.1039/D0NJ04434B. ISSN 1144-0546. 
  9. "Home - NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP)". 
  10. "American Competitiveness in Chemistry-Fellowship (ACC-F) (nsf10535)". 
  11. "Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) Grants" (in en). 
  12. "Teachers Who Made a Difference – UK College of Education". 
  13. "ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship – nominations now open! – Chemical Communications Blog" (in en-US). 
  14. "Faculty Mentor of the Year Award | Office of Undergraduate Research". 
  15. Advancement, Research Corporation for Science. "RCSA Connections, Conversations Spur Energy Storage Project" (in en). 
  16. "Women Chemists Committee names its 2020 Rising Stars". 
  17. " The Premier Online Magazine About Breeding & Showing Cats". 

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