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  1. Enhancing battery energy storage capability and reducing the cost per average energy capacity is urgent to satisfy the increasing energy demand in modern society. The lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery is especially attractive because of its high theoretical specific energy (around 2600 W h kg-1), low cost, and low toxicity.1 Despite these advantages, the practical utilization of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries to date has been hindered by a series of obstacles, including low active material loading, shuttle effects, and sluggish sulfur conversion kinetics.2 The traditional 2D planer thick electrode is considered as a general approach to enhance the mass loading of the Li-S battery.3 However, the longer diffusion length of lithium ions, which resulted in high tortuosity in the compact stacking thick electrode, decreases the penetration ability of the electrolyte into the entire cathode.4 Although an effort to induce catalysts in the cathode was made to promote sulfur conversion kinetic conditions, catalysts based on transition metals suffered from the low electronic conductivity, and some elements (i.e.: Co, Mn) may even absorb and restrict polysulfides for further reaction. 5 To mitigate the issues listed above, herein we propose a novel sulfur cathode design strategy enabled by additive manufacturing and oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD).more »6,7 Specifically, the cathode is designed to have a hierarchal hollow structure via a stereolithography technique to increase sulfur usage. Microchannels are constructed on the tailored sulfur cathode to further fortify the wettability of the electrolyte. The as-printed cathode is then sintered at 700 °C in an N2 atmosphere in order to generate a carbon skeleton (i.e.: carbonization of resin) with intrinsic carbon defects. The intrinsic carbon defects are expected to create favorable sulfur conversion conditions with sufficient electronic conductivity. In this study, the oCVD technique is leveraged to produce a conformal coating layer to eliminate shuttle effects. Identified by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping characterizations, the oCVD PEDOT is not only covered on the surface of the cathode but also on the inner surface of the microchannels. High-resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses (C 1s and S 2p orbitals) between pristine and modified samples demonstrate that a high concentration of the defects has been produced on the sulfur matrix after sintering and posttreatment. In-operando XRD diffractograms show that the Li2S is generated in the oCVD PEDOT-coated sample during the charge and discharge process even with a high current density, confirming an eminent sulfur conversion kinetic condition. In addition, ICP-OES results of lithium metal anode at different states of charge (SoC) verify that the shuttle effects are excellently restricted by oCVD PEDOT. Overall, the high mass loading (> 5 mg cm-2) with an elevated sulfur utilization ratio, accelerated reaction kinetics and stabilized electrochemical process have been achieved on the sulfur cathode by implementing this innovative cathode design strategy. The results of this study demonstrate significant promises of employing pure sulfur powder with high electrochemical performance and suggest a pathway to the higher energy and power density battery. References: 1 Chen, Y. Adv Mater 33, e2003666. 2 Bhargav, A. Joule 4, 285-291. 3 Liu, S. Nano Energy 63, 103894. 4 Chu, T. Carbon Energy 3. 5 Li, Y. Matter 4, 1142-1188. 6 John P. Lock. Macromolecules 39, 4 (2006). 7 Zekoll, S. Energy & Environmental Science 11, 185-201.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 29, 2023
  2. All-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) have garnered increasing attention due to the enhanced safety, featuring nonflammable solid electrolytes as well as the potential to achieve high energy density. 1 The advancement of the ASSBs is expected to provide, arguably, the most straightforward path towards practical, high-energy, and rechargeable batteries based on metallic anodes. 1 However, the sluggish ion transmission at the cathode-electrolyte (solid/solid) interface would result in the high resistant at the contact and limit the practical implementation of these all solid-state materials in real world batteries. 2 Several methods were suggested to enhance the kinetic condition of the ion migration between the cathode and the solid electrolyte (SE). 3 A composite strategy that mixes active materials and SEs for the cathode is a general way to decrease the ion transmission barrier at the cathode-electrolyte interface. 3 The active material concentration in the cathode is reduced as much as the SE portion increases by which the energy density of the ASSB is restricted. In addition, the mixing approach generally accompanies lattice mismatches between the cathode active materials and the SE, thus providing only limited improvements, which is imputed by random contacts between the cathode active materials and the SE during the mixingmore »process. Implementing high-pressure for the electrode and electrolyte of ASSB in the assembling process has been verified is a but effective way to boost the ion transmission ability between the cathode active materials and the SE by decreasing the grain boundary impedance. Whereas the short-circuit of the battery would be induced by the mechanical deformation of the electrolyte under high pressure. 4 Herein, we demonstrate a novel way to address the ion transmission problem at the cathode-electrolyte interface in ASSBs. Starting from the cathode configuration, the finite element method (FEM) was employed to evaluate the current concentration and the distribution of the space charge layer at the cathode-electrolyte interface. Hierarchical three-dimensional (HTD) structures are found to have a higher Li + transfer number (t Li+ ), fewer free anions, and the weaker space-charge layer at the cathode-electrolyte interface in the resulting FEM simulation. To take advantage of the HTD structure, stereolithography is adopted as a manufacturing technique and single-crystalline Ni-rich (SCN) materials are selected as the active materials. Next, the manufactured HTD cathode is sintered at 600 °C in an N 2 atmosphere for the carbonization of the resin, which induces sufficient electronic conductivity for the cathode. Then, the gel-like Li 1.4 Al 0.4 Ti 1.6 (PO 4 ) 3 (LATP) precursor is synthesized and filled into the voids of the HTD structure cathode sufficiently. And the filled HTD structure cathodes are sintered at 900 °C to achieve the crystallization of the LATP gel. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is used to unveil the morphology of the cathode-electrolyte interface between the sintered HTD cathode and the in-situ generated electrolyte (LATP). A transient phase has been found generated at the interface and matched with both lattices of the SCN and the SE, accelerating the transmission of the Li-ions, which is further verified by density functional theory calculations. In addition, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy demonstrates the preserved interface between HTD cathode and SEs. Atomic force microscopy is employed to measure the potential image of the cross-sectional interface by the peak force tapping mode. The average potential of modified samples is lower than the sample that mix SCN and SEs simply in the 2D planar structure, which confirms a weakened space charge layer by the enhanced contact capability as well as the ion transmission ability. To see if the demonstrated method is universally applicable, LiNi 0.8 Co 0.1 Mn 0.1 O 2 (NCM811) is selected as the cathode active material and manufactured in the same way as the SCN. The HTD cathode based on NCM811 exhibits higher electrochemical performance compared with the reference sample based on the 2D planar mixing-type cathode. We believe such a demonstrated universal strategy provides a new guideline to engineer the cathode/electrolyte interface by revolutionizing electrode structures that can be applicable to all-solid-state batteries. Figure 1. Schematic of comparing of traditional 2D planar cathode and HTD cathode in ASSB Tikekar, M. D. , et al. , Nature Energy (2016) 1 (9), 16114 Banerjee, A. , et al. , Chem Rev (2020) 120 (14), 6878 Chen, R. , et al. , Chem Rev (2020) 120 (14), 6820 Cheng, X. , et al. , Advanced Energy Materials (2018) 8 (7) Figure 1« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 7, 2023
  3. Conventional lithium-ion batteries are unable to meet the increasing demands for high-energy storage systems, because of their limited theoretical capacity. 1 In recent years, intensive attention has been paid to enhancing battery energy storage capability to satisfy the increasing energy demand in modern society and reduce the average energy capacity cost. Among the candidates for next generation high energy storage systems, the lithium sulfur battery is especially attractive because of its high theoretical specific energy (around 2600 W h kg-1) and potential cost reduction. In addition, sulfur is a cost effective and environmentally friendly material due to its abundance and low-toxicity. 2 Despite all of these advantages, the practical application of lithium sulfur batteries to date has been hindered by a series of obstacles, including low active material loading, poor cycle life, and sluggish sulfur conversion kinetics. 3 Achieving high mass loading cathode in the traditional 2D planar thick electrode has been challenged. The high distorsion of the traditional planar thick electrodes for ion/electron transfer leads to the limited utilization of active materials and high resistance, which eventually results in restricted energy density and accelerated electrode failure. 4 Furthermore, of the electrolyte to pores in the cathode and utilization ratiomore »of active materials. Catalysts such as MnO 2 and Co dopants were employed to accelerate the sulfur conversion reaction during the charge and discharge process. 5 However, catalysts based on transition metals suffer from poor electronic conductivity. Other catalysts such as transition metal dopants are also limited due to the increased process complexities. . In addition, the severe shuttle effects in Li-S batteries may lead to fast failures of the battery. Constructing a protection layer on the separator for limiting the transmission of soluble polysulfides is considered an effective way to eliminate the shuttle phenomenon. However, the soluble sulfides still can largely dissolve around the cathode side causing the sluggish reaction condition for sulfur conversion. 5 To mitigate the issues above, herein we demonstrate a novel sulfur electrode design strategy enabled by additive manufacturing and oxidative vapor deposition (oCVD). Specifically, the electrode is strategically designed into a hierarchal hollow structure via stereolithography technique to increase sulfur usage. The active material concentration loaded to the battery cathode is controlled precisely during 3D printing by adjusting the number of printed layers. Owing to its freedom in geometry and structure, the suggested design is expected to improve the Li ions and electron transport rate considerably, and hence, the battery power density. The printed cathode is sintered at 700 °C at N 2 atmosphere to achieve carbonization of the cathode during which intrinsic carbon defects (e.g., pentagon carbon) as catalytic defect sites are in-situ generated on the cathode. The intrinsic carbon defects equipped with adequate electronic conductivity. The sintered 3D cathode is then transferred to the oCVD chamber for depositing a thin PEDOT layer as a protection layer to restrict dissolutions of sulfur compounds in the cathode. Density functional theory calculation reveals the electronic state variance between the structures with and without defects, the structure with defects demonstrates the higher kinetic condition for sulfur conversion. To further identify the favorable reaction dynamic process, the in-situ XRD is used to characterize the transformation between soluble and insoluble polysulfides, which is the main barrier in the charge and discharge process of Li-S batteries. The results show the oCVD coated 3D printed sulfur cathode exhibits a much higher kinetic process for sulfur conversion, which benefits from the highly tailored hierarchal hollow structure and the defects engineering on the cathode. Further, the oCVD coated 3D printed sulfur cathode also demonstrates higher stability during long cycling enabled by the oCVD PEDOT protection layer, which is verified by an absorption energy calculation of polysulfides at PEDOT. Such modeling and analysis help to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms that govern cathode performance and degradation in Li-S batteries. The current study also provides design strategies for the sulfur cathode as well as selection approaches to novel battery systems. References: Bhargav, A., (2020). Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Attaining the Critical Metrics. Joule 4 , 285-291. Chung, S.-H., (2018). Progress on the Critical Parameters for Lithium–Sulfur Batteries to be Practically Viable. Advanced Functional Materials 28 , 1801188. Peng, H.-J.,(2017). Review on High-Loading and High-Energy Lithium–Sulfur Batteries. Advanced Energy Materials 7 , 1700260. Chu, T., (2021). 3D printing‐enabled advanced electrode architecture design. Carbon Energy 3 , 424-439. Shi, Z., (2021). Defect Engineering for Expediting Li–S Chemistry: Strategies, Mechanisms, and Perspectives. Advanced Energy Materials 11 . Figure 1« less
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  5. The discovery of oxide electronics is of increasing importance today as one of the most promising new technologies and manufacturing processes for a variety of electronic and optoelectronic applications such as next-generation displays, batteries, solar cells, memory devices, and photodetectors[1]. The high potential use seen in oxide electronics is due primarily to their high carrier mobilities and their ability to be fabricated at low temperatures[2]. However, since the majority of oxide semiconductors are n-type oxides, current applications are limited to unipolar devices, eventually developing oxide-based bipolar devices such as p-n diodes and complementary metal-oxide semiconductors. We have contributed to a wide range of oxide semiconductors and their electronics and optoelectronic device applications. Particularly, we have demonstrated n-type oxide-based thin film transistors (TFT), integrating In 2 O 3 -based n-type oxide semiconductors from binary cation materials to ternary cation species including InZnO, InGaZnO (IGZO), and InAlZnO. We have suggested channel/metallization contact strategies to achieve stable and high TFT performance[3, 4], identified vacancy-based native defect doping mechanisms[5], suggested interfacial buffer layers to promote charge injection capability[6], and established the role of third cation species on the carrier generation and carrier transport[7]. More recently, we have reported facile manufacturing of p-type SnOx throughmore »reactive magnetron sputtering from a Sn metal target[8]. The fabricated p-SnOx was found to be devoid of metallic phase of Sn from x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and demonstrated stable performance in a fully oxide-based p-n heterojunction together with n-InGaZnO. The oxide-based p-n junctions exhibited a high rectification ratio greater than 10 3 at ±3 V, a low saturation current of ~2x10 -10 , and a small turn-on voltage of -0.5 V. In this presentation, we review recent achievements and still remaining issues in transition metal oxide semiconductors and their device applications, in particular, bipolar applications including p-n heterostructures and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor devices as well as single polarity devices such as TFTs and memristors. In addition, the fundamental mechanisms of carrier transport behaviors and doping mechanisms that govern the performance of these oxide-based devices will also be discussed. ACKNOWLEDGMENT This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Award No. ECCS-1931088. S.L. and H.W.S. acknowledge the support from the Improvement of Measurement Standards and Technology for Mechanical Metrology (Grant No. 20011028) by KRISS. K.N. was supported by Basic Science Research Program (NRF-2021R11A1A01051246) through the NRF Korea funded by the Ministry of Education. REFERENCES [1] K. Nomura et al. , Nature, vol. 432, no. 7016, pp. 488-492, Nov 25 2004. [2] D. C. Paine et al. , Thin Solid Films, vol. 516, no. 17, pp. 5894-5898, Jul 1 2008. [3] S. Lee et al. , Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 109, no. 6, p. 063702, Mar 15 2011, Art. no. 063702. [4] S. Lee et al. , Applied Physics Letters, vol. 104, no. 25, p. 252103, 2014. [5] S. Lee et al. , Applied Physics Letters, vol. 102, no. 5, p. 052101, Feb 4 2013, Art. no. 052101. [6] M. Liu et al. , ACS Applied Electronic Materials, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 2703-2711, 2021/06/22 2021. [7] A. Reed et al. , Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 10.1039/D0TC02655G vol. 8, no. 39, pp. 13798-13810, 2020. [8] D. H. Lee et al. , ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol. 13, no. 46, pp. 55676-55686, 2021/11/24 2021.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 7, 2023
  6. It is urgent to enhance battery energy storage capability to satisfy the increasing energy demand in modern society and reduce the average energy capacity cost. Among the candidates for next-generation high energy storage systems, the lithium-sulfur battery is especially attractive because of its high theoretical specific energy (around 2600 W h kg-1) and cost savings potential.1 In addition to the high theoretical capacity of sulfur cathode as high as 1,673 mA h g-1, sulfur is further appealing due to its abundance in nature, low cost, and low toxicity. Despite these advantages, the application of sulfur cathodes to date has been hindered by a number of obstacles, including low active material loading, low electronic conductivity, shuttle effects, and sluggish sulfur conversion kinetics.2 The traditional 2D planer thick electrode is considered as a general approach to enhance the mass loading of the lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery.3 However, the longer diffusion length of lithium ions required in the thick electrode decrease the wettability of the electrolyte (into the entire cathode) and utilization ratio of active materials.4 Encapsulating active sulfur in carbon hosts is another common method to improve the performance of sulfur cathodes by enhancing the electronic conductivity and restricting shuttle effects. Nevertheless, itmore »is also reported that the encapsulation approach causes unfavorable carbon agglomeration with low dimensional carbons and a low energy density of the battery with high dimensional carbons. Although an effort to induce defects in the cathode was made to promote sulfur conversion kinetic conditions, only one type of defect has demonstrated limited performance due to the strong adsorption of the uncatalyzed clusters to the defects (i.e.: catalyst poisoning). 5 To mitigate the issues listed above, herein we propose a novel sulfur electrode design strategy enabled by additive manufacturing and oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD).6,7 Specifically, the electrode is designed to have a hierarchal hollow structure via a stereolithography technique to increase sulfur usage. Microchannels are constructed on the tailored sulfur cathode to further fortify the wettability of the electrolyte. The as-printed cathode is then sintered at 700 °C in a reducing atmosphere (e.g.: H2) in order to generate a carbon skeleton (i.e.: carbonization of resin) with intrinsic carbon defects. A cathode treatment with benzene sulfonic acid further induces additional defects (non-intrinsic) to enhance the sulfur conversion kinetic. Furthermore, intrinsic defects engineering is expected to synergistically create favorable sulfur conversion conditions and mitigate the catalyst poisoning issue. In this study, the oCVD technique is leveraged to produce a conformal coating layer to eliminate shuttle effects, unfavored in the Li-S battery performance. Identified by SEM and TEM characterizations, the oCVD PEDOT is not only covered on the surface of the cathode but also the inner surface of the microchannels. High resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses (C 1s and S 2p orbitals) between pristine and modified sample demonstrate that the high concentration of the defects have been produced on the sulfur matrix after sintering and posttreatment. In-operando XRD diffractograms show that the Li2S is generated in the oCVD PEDOT-coated sample during the charge and discharge process even with a high current density, confirming an eminent sulfur conversion kinetic condition. In addition, ICP-OES results of lithium metal anode at different states of charge (SoC) verify that the shuttle effects are excellently restricted by oCVD PEDOT. Overall, the high mass loading (> 5 mg cm-2) with elevated sulfur utilization ratio, accelerated reaction kinetics, and stabilized electrochemical process have been achieved on the sulfur cathode by implementing this innovative cathode design strategy. The results of this study demonstrate significant promises of employing pure sulfur powder with high electrochemical performance and suggest a pathway to the higher energy and power density battery.« less
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  7. Metal-ion batteries (e.g., lithium and sodium ion batteries) are the promising power sources for portable electronics, electric vehicles, and smart grids. Recent metal-ion batteries with organic liquid electrolytes still suffer from safety issues regarding inflammability and insufficient lifetime.1 As the next generation energy storage devices, all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) have promising potentials for the improved safety, higher energy density, and longer cycle life than conventional Li-ion batteries.2 The nonflammable solid electrolytes (SEs), where only Li ions are mobile, could prevent battery combustion and explosion since the side reactions that cause safety issues as well as degradation of the battery performance are largely suppressed. However, their practical application is hampered by the high resistance arising at the solid–solid electrode–electrolyte interface (including cathode-electrolyte interface and anode-electrolyte interface).3 Several methods have been introduced to optimize the contact capability as well as the electrochemical/chemical stability between the metal anodes (i.e.: Li and Na) and the SEs, which exhibited decent results in decreasing the charge transfer resistance and broadening the range of the stable energy window (i.e., lowing the chemical potential of metal anode below the highest occupied molecular orbital of the SEs).4 Nevertheless, mitigation for the cathode in ASSB is tardily developed because: (1) themore »porous structure of the cathode is hard to be infiltrated by SEs;5 (2) SEs would be oxidized and decomposed by the high valence state elements at the surface of the cathode at high state of charge.5 Herein, we demonstrate a universal cathode design strategy to achieve superior contact capability and high electrochemical/chemical stability with SEs. Stereolithography is adopted as a manufacturing technique to realize a hierarchical three-dimensional (HTD) electrode architecture with micro-size channels, which is expected to provide larger contact areas with SEs. Then, the manufactured cathode is sintered at 700 °C in a reducing atmosphere (e.g.: H2) to accomplish the carbonization of the resin, delivering sufficiently high electronic conductivity for the cathode. To avoid the direct exposure of the cathode active materials to the SEs, oxidative chemical vapor deposition technique (oCVD) is leveraged to build conformal and highly conducting poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) on the surface of the HTD cathode.6 To demonstrate our design strategy, both NCM811 and Na3V2(PO4)3 is selected as active materials in the HTD cathode, then each cathode is paired with organic (polyacrylonitrile-based) and inorganic (sulfur-based) SEs assembled into two batteries (total four batteries). SEM and TEM reveal the micro-size HTD structure with built-in channels. Featured by the HTD architecture, the intrinsic kinetic and thermodynamic conditions will be enhanced by larger surface contact areas, more active sites, improved infusion and electrolyte ion accessibility, and larger volume expansion capability. Disclosed by X-ray computed tomography, the interface between cathode and SEs in the four modified samples demonstrates higher homogeneity at the interface between the cathode and SEs than that of all other pristine samples. Atomic force microscopy is employed to measure the potential image of the cross-sectional interface by the peak force tapping mode. The average potential of modified samples is lower than that of pristine samples, which confirms a weakened space charge layer by the enhanced contact capability. In addition, through Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy coupled with Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy, the preserved interface between HTD cathode and SE is identified; however, the decomposing of the pristine cathode is clearly observed. In addition, Finite element method simulations validate that the diffusion dynamics of lithium ions is favored by HTD structure. Such a demonstrated universal strategy provides a new guideline to engineer cathode electrolyte interface by reconstructing electrode structures that can be applicable to all solid-state batteries in a wide range of chemical conditions.« less
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