About Us

Our Mission

Ionic Materials is funded by prominent venture capital firms and employs a world-class team in Woburn, Massachusetts. Our CEO and Founder, Mike Zimmerman Ph.D. is a proven serial entrepreneur with 30+ years of polymer expertise. Our technology team has extensive experience in polymer science, electrochemistry and battery science and they are further supported by leading experts from academia and industry.  Ionic’s polymer electrolyte represents a major breakthrough in battery technology. By enabling the creation of batteries that are safer, cheaper, and higher performance than the current state-of-the-art, Ionic’s polymer electrolyte shatters the traditional battery design paradigm, under which safety, cost, and performance must generally be traded off against one another. We are excited to bring this technology to market with core partners in the battery industry.

“We have chosen to solve the most significant materials science problems to enable solid state batteries which can be manufactured in a much simpler way using polymer processing. By eliminating liquids, these new batteries will enable substantial improvements in energy density, cost, and safety, and make possible the use of chemistries that have been considered “the holy grail” for batteries. Ionic will thus play a major role in the solution to the world’s energy problems. The technical hurdles Ionic proposes to overcome are significant, but such challenges we choose to accept, as the world needs our solution.” Mike Zimmerman

 

Our Leadership

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO and Founder

Mike is an expert in polymer innovation and polymer processing, semiconductor packaging and electronic and optical materials.  Dr. Zimmerman spent 14 years at Bell Labs, and rose to the highest technical level (top 1% of technical community).  He subsequently started his own company (QLP, Inc.) by inventing a new liquid crystal polymer technology and developed products in the area of semiconductor packages, new printed circuit board materials, and revolutionary materials for replacing metals in automobiles.

He has been teaching at Tufts for over 20 years, in the areas of materials science, manufacturing and finite element analysis and has developed new classes in the areas of polymer science and composite materials. Dr. Zimmerman received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, in 1988 with joint research at Cavendish Labs/Cambridge University, Cambridge, England. He received his S.M. in mechanical engineering from the Fibers and Polymers Division of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, in 1981. His B.S. in mechanical engineering was granted by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY.

Bill Joy, Board of Directors

Bill looks to help entrepreneurs who have discoveries and inventions that can solve energy and resource problems, and helps them apply 21st century advances in physics, chemistry and the natural sciences to help create abundance.  As a Berkeley graduate student, Joy was a seminal figure in the creation, support, and rollout of BSD UNIX, an open-source operating system that was the first to have built-in TCP/IP networking.  With Vinod Khosla, Scott McNealy, and Andreas Bectholsheim, Joy co-founded Sun Microsystems, one of the leading workstation and server companies of the 1980s and 1990s, and a key player in the Internet boom and development of the Web. While at Sun, Joy was a key contributor to a number of Sun technologies, including the Solaris operating system, SPARC microprocessor architecture, and the Java programming language.  Bill also served as a partner at the Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, where he focused on their green technology investment practice.
Bill is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a lifetime trustee of the Aspen Institute.  He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) from UC Berkeley (1979).

Jan van Dokkum, Chairman of the Board

Jan van Dokkum is a business leader that has 30 years of experience in building organizations to achieve rapid growth through effective go-to-market strategies, strategic partnerships, cost-effective manufacturing and supply chain implementation, and human resource deployment. He currently is an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers with the specific task of assisting KPCB’s greentech ventures toward commercialization.

Earlier in his career, Jan served as president of UTC Power, a division of United Technologies, Inc., for seven years and was instrumental in advancing UTC Power’s on-site power generation product and service offerings. These include stationary fuel cells, renewable power solutions and combined cooling, heating and power applications for commercial building markets. He led the effort to improve energy productivity and energy security in commercial buildings by offering in-depth analysis of a building’s electrical and thermal systems. In addition, he focused the company’s fuel cell activities toward transportation, working closely with leading automotive manufacturers and seeking out other early uses for fuel cells, such as transit buses. As part of his responsibilities, Jan supported NASA’s space shuttle program manufactured and serviced the fuel cells that provided power, heat, and water for each mission.

Before joining UTC Power, Jan was with Siemens for 17 years. For the last six of those years, he served as president and chief executive officer of Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution, Inc. During that time, he augmented the company’s traditional power equipment, such as switchgear, power breakers, transformers and regulators, with intelligent systems and controls. His vision included creating a smart electrical power delivery system to provide greater reliability and functionality, while adapting to deregulation and improving competitiveness. Under Jan’s leadership, the product lines expanded to include metering and billing systems, power system information technology, distribution automation and high-voltage controls.

Jan currently serves as a board member on the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), a non-profit (501)(c)(3) that was selected by NASA to manage the International Space Station National Laboratory.

Jan was a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee, and he contributed to the Department of Energy’s Grid 2030 National Vision for Electricity’s Second 100 Years. He also co-chaired the Energy Efficiency in Buildings project for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He has served on numerous boards related to advancement of technologies and society.

Jan immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands in 1978. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.

Our Business Model

Ionic Materials will sell its polymer to the battery industry as an advanced materials supplier.  With this approach, we believe we can reach the broadest market segments and enable the ecosystem of cell manufacturers serving those markets.

Our Markets

Our polymer benefits promise to speed the electrification of transportation, enable safer and longer lasting consumer electronics devices,  and accelerate the transition to clean and renewable sources of energy that require grid storage.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles hold great promise for providing environmentally clean transportation and an exciting driving experience with low, long-term maintenance costs. However, these vehicles require batteries that can provide longer range at a lower cost, all while ensuring optimal safety for passengers in order to drive broader adoption. Ionic Materials is focused on delivering the enabling technology to make certain the full potential of electric vehicles can be realized.

Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics, such as smart phones, laptops, digital cameras, wearable devices, etc., require increasing power to function efficiently and safely. However, lithium ion batteries, known for their use of volatile liquid electrolytes, are common in most of these devices, and these devices are in constant need of charging and recharging.  Ionic Materials’ polymer technology can overcome these issues with safer and longer-lasting batteries that can be packaged in new and creative ways to drive more satisfying and innovative user experiences.

Grid Storage

The use of battery storage to enable intermittent energy sources such as solar and wind is a significant trend shaping the future of utilities.  In order to enable this transition, the market requires a safe, robust and cost effective battery platform that can scale to grid-scale applications.  Our polymer will enable a new generation of batteries that can serve this emerging need.  In particular, the cost benefits of our solution at scale will help to accelerate this market.

electric vehicles

Safe, long range electric vehicles become a reality

consumer electronics

Longer lasting devices in new form factors

grid storage

Low cost, reliable energy for grid applications

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