All Publications

  • A salt-philic, solvent-phobic interfacial coating design for lithium metal electrodes NATURE ENERGY Huang, Z., Lai, J., Liao, S., Yu, Z., Chen, Y., Yu, W., Gong, H., Gao, X., Yang, Y., Qin, J., Cui, Y., Bao, Z. 2023
  • Effect of Molecular Weight on the Morphology of a Polymer Semiconductor-Thermoplastic Elastomer Blend ADVANCED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS Pena-Alcantara, A., Nikzad, S., Michalek, L., Prine, N., Wang, Y., Gong, H., Ponte, E., Schneider, S., Wu, Y., Root, S. E., He, M., Tok, J., Gu, X., Bao, Z. 2023
  • Investigation of the Structure of Atomically Dispersed NiNx Sites in Ni and N-Doped Carbon Electrocatalysts by 61Ni Mossbauer Spectroscopy and Simulations. Journal of the American Chemical Society Koshy, D. M., Hossain, M. D., Masuda, R., Yoda, Y., Gee, L. B., Abiose, K., Gong, H., Davis, R., Seto, M., Gallo, A., Hahn, C., Bajdich, M., Bao, Z., Jaramillo, T. F. 2022


    Ni and nitrogen-doped carbons are selective catalysts for CO2 reduction to CO (CO2R), but the hypothesized NiNx active sites are challenging to probe with traditional characterization methods. Here, we synthesize 61Ni-enriched model catalysts, termed 61NiPACN, in order to apply 61Ni Mossbauer spectroscopy using synchrotron radiation (61Ni-SR-MS) to characterize the structure of these atomically dispersed NiNx sites. First, we demonstrate that the CO2R results and standard characterization techniques (SEM, PXRD, XPS, XANES, EXAFS) point to the existence of dispersed Ni active sites. Then, 61Ni-SR-MS reveal significant internal magnetic fields of 5.4 T, which is characteristic of paramagnetic, high-spin Ni2+, in the 61NiPACN samples. Finally, theoretical calculations for a variety of Ni-Nx moieties confirm that high-spin Ni2+ is stable in non-planar, tetrahedrally distorted geometries, which results in calculated isotropic hyperfine coupling that is consistent with 61Ni-SR-MS measurements.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.2c09825

    View details for PubMedID 36394993

  • Fast-Charging of Hybrid Lithium-Ion/Lithium-Metal Anodes by Nanostructured Hard Carbon Host ACS ENERGY LETTERS Gong, H., Chen, Y., Chen, S., Xu, C., Yang, Y., Ye, Y., Huang, Z., Ning, R., Cui, Y., Bao, Z. 2022; 7 (12): 4417-4426
  • Realizing Intrinsically Stretchable Semiconducting Polymer Films by Nontoxic Additives ACS MATERIALS LETTERS Cheng, H., Zhang, S., Michalek, L., Ji, X., Luo, S., Cooper, C. B., Gong, H., Nikzad, S., Chiong, J. A., Wu, Y., Zheng, Y., Liu, Q., Zhong, D., Lei, Y., Tomo, Y., Wei, K., Zhou, D., Tok, J., Bao, Z. 2022; 4 (11): 2328-2336
  • Formation Mechanism of Flower-like Polyacrylonitrile Particles. Journal of the American Chemical Society Gong, H., Ilavsky, J., Kuzmenko, I., Chen, S., Yan, H., Cooper, C. B., Chen, G., Chen, Y., Chiong, J. A., Jiang, Y., Lai, J., Zheng, Y., Stone, K. H., Huelsenbeck, L., Giri, G., Tok, J. B., Bao, Z. 2022


    Flower-like polyacrylonitrile (PAN) particles have shown promising performance for numerous applications, including sensors, catalysis, and energy storage. However, the detailed formation process of these unique structures during polymerization has not been investigated. Here, we elucidate the formation process of flower-like PAN particles through a series of in situ and ex situ experiments. We have the following key findings. First, lamellar petals within the flower-like particles were predominantly orthorhombic PAN crystals. Second, branching of the lamellae during the particle formation arose from PAN's fast nucleation and growth on pre-existing PAN crystals, which was driven by the poor solubility of PAN in the reaction solvent. Third, the particles were formed to maintain a constant center-to-center distance during the reaction. The separation distance was attributed to strong electrostatic repulsion, which resulted in the final particles' spherical shape and uniform size. Lastly, we employed the understanding of the formation mechanism to tune the PAN particles' morphology using several experimental parameters including incorporating comonomers, changing temperature, adding nucleation seeds, and adjusting the monomer concentration. These findings provide important insights into the bottom-up design of advanced nanostructured PAN-based materials and controlled polymer nanostructure self-assemblies.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.2c07032

    View details for PubMedID 36102706

  • An X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Primer for Solid Electrolyte Interphase Characterization in Lithium Metal Anodes ACS ENERGY LETTERS Oyakhire, S. T., Gong, H., Cui, Y., Bao, Z., Bent, S. F. 2022; 7 (8)
  • Perovskite superlattices with efficient carrier dynamics. Nature Lei, Y., Li, Y., Lu, C., Yan, Q., Wu, Y., Babbe, F., Gong, H., Zhang, S., Zhou, J., Wang, R., Zhang, R., Chen, Y., Tsai, H., Gu, Y., Hu, H., Lo, Y., Nie, W., Lee, T., Luo, J., Yang, K., Jang, K., Xu, S. 2022; 608 (7922): 317-323


    Compared with their three-dimensional (3D) counterparts, low-dimensional metal halide perovskites (2D and quasi-2D; B2An-1MnX3n+1, such as B=R-NH3+, A=HC(NH2)2+, Cs+; M=Pb2+, Sn2+; X=Cl-, Br-, I-) with periodic inorganic-organic structures have shown promising stability and hysteresis-free electrical performance1-6. However, their unique multiple-quantum-well structure limits the device efficiencies because of the grain boundaries and randomlyoriented quantum wells in polycrystals7. In single crystals, the carrier transport through the thickness direction is hindered by the layered insulating organic spacers8. Furthermore, the strong quantum confinement from the organic spacers limits the generation and transport of free carriers9,10. Also, lead-free metal halide perovskites have been developed but their device performance is limited by their low crystallinity and structural instability11. Here we report a low-dimensional metal halide perovskite BA2MAn-1SnnI3n+1 (BA, butylammonium; MA, methylammonium; n=1,3,5) superlattice by chemical epitaxy. The inorganic slabs are aligned vertical to the substrate and interconnected in a criss-cross 2D network parallel to the substrate, leading to efficient carrier transport in three dimensions. A lattice-mismatched substrate compresses the organic spacers, which weakens the quantum confinement. The performance of a superlattice solar cell has been certified under the quasi-steady state, showing a stable 12.36% photoelectric conversion efficiency. Moreover, an intraband exciton relaxation process may have yielded an unusually high open-circuit voltage (VOC).

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-022-04961-1

    View details for PubMedID 35948711

  • A Solution-Processable High-Modulus Crystalline Artificial Solid Electrolyte Interphase for Practical Lithium Metal Batteries ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS Yu, Z., Seo, S., Song, J., Zhang, Z., Oyakhire, S. T., Wang, Y., Xu, R., Gong, H., Zhang, S., Zheng, Y., Tsao, Y., Mondonico, L., Lomeli, E. G., Wang, X., Kim, W., Ryu, K., Bao, Z. 2022
  • Molecular Layer Deposition of a Hafnium-Based Hybrid Thin Film as an Electron Beam Resist. ACS applied materials & interfaces Shi, J., Ravi, A., Richey, N. E., Gong, H., Bent, S. F. 2022


    The development of new resist materials is vital to fabrication techniques for next-generation microelectronics. Inorganic resists are promising candidates because they have higher etch resistance, are more impervious to pattern collapse, and are more absorbing of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation than organic resists. However, there is limited understanding about how they behave under irradiation. In this work, a Hf-based hybrid thin film resist, known as "hafnicone", is deposited from the vapor-phase via molecular layer deposition (MLD), and its electron-beam and deep-ultraviolet (DUV)-induced patterning mechanism is explored. The hafnicone thin films are deposited at 100 °C by using the Hf precursor tetrakis(dimethylamido)hafnium(IV) and the organic precursor ethylene glycol. E-beam lithography, scanning electron microscopy, and profilometry are used to investigate the resist performance of hafnicone. With 3 M HCl as the developer, hafnicone behaves as a negative tone resist which exhibits a sensitivity of 400 muC/cm2 and the ability to resolve 50 nm line widths. The resist is characterized via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) to investigate the patterning mechanism, which is described in the context of classical nucleation theory. This study of hafnicone hybrid MLD demonstrates the ability for the bottom-up vapor deposition of inorganic resists to be utilized in advanced e-beam and DUV lithographic techniques.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.2c04092

    View details for PubMedID 35653232

  • Effects of Polymer Coating Mechanics at Solid-Electrolyte Interphase for Stabilizing Lithium Metal Anodes ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS Huang, Z., Choudhury, S., Paul, N., Thienenkamp, J., Lennartz, P., Gong, H., Muller-Buschbaum, P., Brunklaus, G., Gilles, R., Bao, Z. 2021
  • Steric Effect Tuned Ion Solvation Enabling Stable Cycling of High-Voltage Lithium Metal Battery. Journal of the American Chemical Society Chen, Y., Yu, Z., Rudnicki, P., Gong, H., Huang, Z., Kim, S. C., Lai, J., Kong, X., Qin, J., Cui, Y., Bao, Z. 2021


    1,2-Dimethoxyethane (DME) is a common electrolyte solvent for lithium metal batteries. Various DME-based electrolyte designs have improved long-term cyclability of high-voltage full cells. However, insufficient Coulombic efficiency at the Li anode and poor high-voltage stability remain a challenge for DME electrolytes. Here, we report a molecular design principle that utilizes a steric hindrance effect to tune the solvation structures of Li+ ions. We hypothesized that by substituting the methoxy groups on DME with larger-sized ethoxy groups, the resulting 1,2-diethoxyethane (DEE) should have a weaker solvation ability and consequently more anion-rich inner solvation shells, both of which enhance interfacial stability at the cathode and anode. Experimental and computational evidence indicates such steric-effect-based design leads to an appreciable improvement in electrochemical stability of lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI)/DEE electrolytes. Under stringent full-cell conditions of 4.8 mAh cm-2 NMC811, 50 mum thin Li, and high cutoff voltage at 4.4 V, 4 M LiFSI/DEE enabled 182 cycles until 80% capacity retention while 4 M LiFSI/DME only achieved 94 cycles. This work points out a promising path toward the molecular design of non-fluorinated ether-based electrolyte solvents for practical high-voltage Li metal batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.1c09006

    View details for PubMedID 34709034

  • A Nickel-Decorated Carbon Flower/Sulfur Cathode for Lean-Electrolyte Lithium-Sulfur Batteries ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS Tsao, Y., Gong, H., Chen, S., Chen, G., Liu, Y., Gao, T. Z., Cui, Y., Bao, Z. 2021
  • High-frequency and intrinsically stretchable polymer diodes. Nature Matsuhisa, N., Niu, S., O'Neill, S. J., Kang, J., Ochiai, Y., Katsumata, T., Wu, H., Ashizawa, M., Wang, G. N., Zhong, D., Wang, X., Gong, X., Ning, R., Gong, H., You, I., Zheng, Y., Zhang, Z., Tok, J. B., Chen, X., Bao, Z. 2021; 600 (7888): 246-252


    Skin-like intrinsically stretchable soft electronic devices are essential to realize next-generation remote and preventative medicine for advanced personal healthcare1-4. The recent development of intrinsically stretchable conductors and semiconductors has enabled highly mechanically robust and skin-conformable electronic circuits or optoelectronic devices2,5-10. However, their operating frequencies have been limited to less than 100hertz, which is much lower than that required for many applications. Here we report intrinsically stretchable diodes-based on stretchable organic and nanomaterials-capable of operating at a frequency as high as 13.56megahertz. This operating frequency is high enough for the wireless operation of soft sensors and electrochromicdisplaypixels using radiofrequency identification in which the base-carrier frequency is 6.78megahertz or13.56megahertz. This was achieved through a combination of rational material design and device engineering. Specifically, we developed a stretchable anode, cathode, semiconductor and current collector that can satisfy the strict requirements for high-frequency operation. Finally, we show the operational feasibility of our diode by integrating it with a stretchable sensor, electrochromicdisplay pixel and antenna to realize a stretchable wireless tag. This work is an important step towards enabling enhanced functionalities and capabilities for skin-like wearable electronics.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-04053-6

    View details for PubMedID 34880427

  • A Cation-Tethered Flowable Polymeric Interface for Enabling Stable Deposition of Metallic Lithium. Journal of the American Chemical Society Huang, Z., Choudhury, S., Gong, H., Cui, Y., Bao, Z. 2020


    A fundamental challenge, shared across many energy storage devices, is the complexity of electrochemistry at the electrode-electrolyte interfaces that impacts the Coulombic efficiency, operational rate capability, and lifetime. Specifically, in energy-dense lithium metal batteries, the charging/discharging process results in structural heterogeneities of the metal anode, leading to battery failure by short-circuit and capacity fade. In this work, we take advantage of organic cations with lower reduction potential than lithium to build an electrically responsive polymer interface that not only adapts to morphological perturbations during electrodeposition and stripping but also modulates the lithium ion migration pathways to eliminate surface roughening. We find that this concept can enable prolonging the long-term cycling of a high-voltage lithium metal battery by at least twofold compared to bare lithium metal.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.0c09649

    View details for PubMedID 33314926

  • Dense Carbon Nanoflower Pellets for Methane Storage ACS APPLIED NANO MATERIALS Chen, S., Gong, H., Dindoruk, B., He, J., Bao, Z. 2020; 3 (8): 8278–85
  • A Carbon Flower Based Flexible Pressure Sensor Made from Large-Area Coating ADVANCED MATERIALS INTERFACES O'Neill, S. K., Gong, H., Matsuhisa, N., Chen, S., Moon, H., Wu, H., Chen, X., Chen, X., Bao, Z. 2020
  • F4-TCNQ as an Additive to Impart Stretchable Semiconductors with High Mobility and Stability ADVANCED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS Mun, J., Kang, J., Zheng, Y., Luo, S., Wu, Y., Gong, H., Lai, J., Wu, H., Xue, G., Tok, J., Bao, Z. 2020
  • On-demand production of hydrogen by reacting porous silicon nanowires with water NANO RESEARCH Ning, R., Jiang, Y., Zeng, Y., Gong, H., Zhao, J., Weisse, J., Shi, X., Gill, T. M., Zheng, X. 2020