Electrochemical Energy Storage
Our work focuses on the development of novel solid electrolytes and cathode materials for high power and high energy density electrochemical energy storage devices. Based on the synthetic controllability in both organic chemistry and coordination chemistry, we can bottom-up assemble network structures with optimal hopping pathways for ion conduction. We will apply synthetic chemistry to explore cathode materials that can integrate high energy density, durability and low cost for non-lithium ion batteries. We use analytical techniques such as rotating disk electrochemistry (RDE) to extrapolate kinetic information about our cathode materials, or how the diffusion coefficient changes with our novel electrolytes.
The elemental diversity of metal species and synthetic tunability of organic compounds have endowed these two classes materials with distinctive physical and chemical properties. Hybridizing metal and organic units at the molecular level offers tremendous opportunities in the development of novel materials, extending the solid state chemistry/physics into a new regime. Particularly, we focus on studying the electronic properties of metal-organic solids and exploring their potential applications where they can outperform conventional inorganic and organic materials.
Inorganic Material-Polymer Composites
The unique mechanical properties of polymers (e.g., flexibility and elasticity) make them unparalleled for many applications. However, the lack of elementary variation in pure polymers intrinsically limits the diversity in their physical/chemical property. To integrate multi-functionality and desirable mechanical property in the same matrix, our research aims to composite polymers with functional inorganic materials at the nanoscale and explore their potential applications in separation, actuator, and all-solid-state batteries.