Dr. Michal Leskes

Department of Materials and Interfaces | Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Michal Leskes was born in Safed, Israel. Following military service in the Israel Defense Forces, she completed a BSc in chemistry summa cum laude at Tel Aviv University in 2004. She earned her PhD in chemical physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2010, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, UK. She joins the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Materials and Interfaces in July 2015.
After working with Prof. Shimon Vega at the Weizmann Institute to develop advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, Dr. Leskes applied her training in solid-state NMR techniques to study lithium-ion batteries during her postdoctoral fellowship. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power a wide range of devices such as laptops, hybrid and all-electric cars, and are used for storing solar or wind power from alternative energy systems. However, to reach their true potential, new generations of batteries are needed, with faster charging and discharging capabilities and improved power storage than current technology enables. Dr. Leskes is using solid-state NMR to investigate the lithium–air battery and monitor the evolution of the electrochemical products formed during charging and discharging, to gain in-depth understanding of processes such as capacity fading and inefficient recharging. She hopes to translate these insights into the basis for new battery technologies.
Her undergraduate honors include Tel Aviv University’s Dean and Rector awards for outstanding students and a Knesset award for students. Dr. Leskes received the John F. Kennedy Prize for achievements in her PhD studies at the Weizmann Institute, a Wolf Foundation fellowship, and the Award of Excellence by the National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science in 2011. In 2012 and 2013, she won a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship from the European Union.
Dr. Leskes is married.