Practical application of flexible energy storage devices has not been realized despite the booming of experimental researches. On one hand, their flexibility is not good enough to accommodate arbitrary deformations, which was merely demonstrated by statically bending at certain angles. Thus, stability against dynamic mechanical stimuli is highly desired. On the other hand, these devices are not strong enough to endure severe mechanical stimuli including large shear forces and impacts, which greatly limits their practicability.
Our study focus on enhance device-level toughness and ensure long-term usability of flexible energy storage with hydrogel electrolyte developed and device level structure/materials optimization. We develop various hydrogel electrolytes for mutifunctional flexible energy storage devices and target on a highly reliable, stable and durable flexible energy storage.
Zinc Based Batteries & Aqueous Electrolyte Batteries
Since its first emergence in Leclanché cell in 1866, metallic zinc has been considered as an ideal electrode material for aqueous energy storage systems owing to its merits of intrinsically high capacity, suitable redox potential, non-toxicity, high abundance, and absolute safety. These advantageous features have resultantly promoted the recent renaissance of the studies on aqueous rechargeable zinc batteries. These zinc batteries mainly target at low-cost stationary grid storage or flexible applications for wearable electronics, as they have outperformed traditional lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in both cost efficiency and safety consideration.
Our study focus on enhance voltage and capacity, as well as stablity of a zinc based batteries by developing new electrode materials and electrolytes. We also explore other potential aqueous systems with extreme safety performance and enviromental-friendliness.
Catalysts for Sustainable Development
The benchmark ORR, OER catalysts are Pt-based and Ir/Ru-based composites, respectively, but the embarrassing high-cost and awkward bifunctionality along with limited durability of all these compounds regretfully dispel their potential extensive practical use. The last decade has witnessed the bloom of research into inexpensive and highly reversible electrocatalysts for ORR and OER, including doped carbons, metal compounds (alloys, oxides, nitrides, sulfides, etc.) and metal-carbon molecular composites.
We focus on novel catalyst development, emphasizing their application for flexible zinc air batteries. Despite of catalyst, we also optimize metal air batteries through fabricating new electrolytes and fabricate integrated system of air batteries and metal ion batteries.