A Collection of Articles


Jon Han

35 Innovators Under 35


Creating the breakthroughs that will make everything from AI to solar power to heart valves more practical and essential.

Gene Berdichevsky, 34

Sila Nanotechnologies

Exploring new materials for better lithium-ion batteries.

As employee number seven at Tesla, Gene ­Berdichevsky was instrumental in solving one of its earliest challenges: the thousands of lithium-­ion batteries the company planned to pack into its electric sports car caught fire far more often than manufacturers claimed. His solution: a combination of heat transfer materials, cooling channels, and battery arrangements that ensured any fire would be self-contained.

Now Berdichevsky has cofounded Sila Nanotechnologies, which aims to make better lithium-ion batteries. The company has developed silicon-based nanoparticles that can form a high-capacity anode. Silicon has almost 10 times the theoretical capacity of the material most often used in lithium-ion batteries, but it tends to swell during charging, causing damage. Sila’s particles are robust yet porous enough to accommodate that swelling, promising longer-lasting batteries.

James Temple