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Research Overview

Our research roots in material science, ionic physical chemistry, and fundamental electrochemistry, aiming at the development of next-generation sustainable energy storage devices, such as supercapacitors, hybrid-ion capacitors, aqueous batteries, dual-ion batteries, and multivalent metal (e.g.,  Zn, Mg, and Al) batteries. Our research directions include developing novel 2D layered organic/inorganic structures and heterostructures with exceptional charge/ion transport phenomena, achieving precise control over electrode/electrolyte interfacial charge transfer with precise polymer chemistries, and designing/formulating advanced electrolytes for next-generation sustainable batteries.

2D layered inorganic materials/heterostructures


The vast range of 2D layered materials, such as graphene, MXenes, TMDs, and 2D organic materials, collectively exhibit diverse chemical and physical properties. The van der Waals interaction between these materials allows for seamless integration, enabling the tailored assembly of 2D heterostructures that leverage the strengths of each component. Our particular interest lies in refining synthetic routes, controlling surface/defect chemistry, exploring unique physicochemical properties, and uncovering energy-related applications of novel 2D materials and their heterostructures.

2D layered carbon-rich frameworks

2D carbon-rich frameworks, including 2D conjugated metal-organic frameworks (c-MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs), represent a class of versatile and intelligent materials. Their tunable molecular-level structures, ordered porosities, and substantial surface areas make them highly functional. These frameworks provide a platform to strategically assemble redox-active units into structured frameworks, offering novel possibilities for energy storage electrodes. Our focus centers on crafting and synthesizing innovative framework molecules, along with probing their potential in advancing future energy storage technologies.


Artificial polymeric interphases for next-generation batteries


It has been broadly justified for LIBs that the presence of solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) on the anode holds a vital role in regulating interfacial Li-ion transport. However, SEI does not work for all battery chemistries, such as multivalent metal, anion, and aqueous battery chemistries. The principle of SEI inspires that pre-forming homogeneous, stable, electron-insulative, ion-conducting/-selective interphases on the electrodes could be a universal approach to address the interfacial problems of diverse batteries. We aim to employ molecule-customizable polymer chemistries to regulate the interfacial charge transport and solve electrode chemistry challenges of next-generation sustainable batteries. 

Advanced electrolytes for multivalent metal batteries

Developing novel electrolytes for multivalent metal batteries is essential to tackle challenges presented by multivalent metal ions. Traditional electrolytes are inadequate for these ions due to their high charge density, resulting in issues with kinetics, reversibility, and durability. Advanced electrolytes can improve ion mobility, stability, and safety, unlocking the full potential of multivalent metal batteries. We are committed to formulating advanced electrolytes by innovating new electrolyte components (salts, solvents, and additives), while also exploring novel electrolyte concepts.

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