Honors & Awards

  • Bio-X Travel Award, Stanford Bio-X (2022)
  • Graduate Student Award- Gold, Materials Research Society (MRS) (2023)
  • Stanford Emerging Technology Review Fellow, Stanford Hoover Institution (2023)
  • Stanford Energy Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy (2023)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • High-entropy electrolytes for practical lithium metal batteries NATURE ENERGY Kim, S., Wang, J., Xu, R., Zhang, P., Chen, Y., Huang, Z., Yang, Y., Yu, Z., Oyakhire, S. T., Zhang, W., Greenburg, L. C., Kim, M., Boyle, D. T., Sayavong, P., Ye, Y., Qin, J., Bao, Z., Cui, Y. 2023
  • Data-driven electrolyte design for lithium metal anodes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Kim, S. C., Oyakhire, S. T., Athanitis, C., Wang, J., Zhang, Z., Zhang, W., Boyle, D. T., Kim, M. S., Yu, Z., Gao, X., Sogade, T., Wu, E., Qin, J., Bao, Z., Bent, S. F., Cui, Y. 2023; 120 (10): e2214357120


    Improving Coulombic efficiency (CE) is key to the adoption of high energy density lithium metal batteries. Liquid electrolyte engineering has emerged as a promising strategy for improving the CE of lithium metal batteries, but its complexity renders the performance prediction and design of electrolytes challenging. Here, we develop machine learning (ML) models that assist and accelerate the design of high-performance electrolytes. Using the elemental composition of electrolytes as the features of our models, we apply linear regression, random forest, and bagging models to identify the critical features for predicting CE. Our models reveal that a reduction in the solvent oxygen content is critical for superior CE. We use the ML models to design electrolyte formulations with fluorine-free solvents that achieve a high CE of 99.70%. This work highlights the promise of data-driven approaches that can accelerate the design of high-performance electrolytes for lithium metal batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2214357120

    View details for PubMedID 36848560

  • Graphene coating on silicon anodes enabled by thermal surface modification for high-energy lithium-ion batteries MRS BULLETIN Kim, S., Huang, W., Zhang, Z., Wang, J., Kim, Y., Jeong, Y., Oyakhire, S. T., Yang, Y., Cui, Y. 2022
  • Suspension electrolyte with modified Li+ solvation environment for lithium metal batteries. Nature materials Kim, M. S., Zhang, Z., Rudnicki, P. E., Yu, Z., Wang, J., Wang, H., Oyakhire, S. T., Chen, Y., Kim, S. C., Zhang, W., Boyle, D. T., Kong, X., Xu, R., Huang, Z., Huang, W., Bent, S. F., Wang, L., Qin, J., Bao, Z., Cui, Y. 1800


    Designing a stable solid-electrolyte interphase on a Li anode is imperative to developing reliable Li metal batteries. Herein, we report a suspension electrolyte design that modifies the Li+ solvation environment in liquid electrolytes and creates inorganic-rich solid-electrolyte interphases on Li. Li2O nanoparticles suspended in liquid electrolytes were investigated as a proof of concept. Through theoretical and empirical analyses of Li2O suspension electrolytes, the roles played by Li2O in the liquid electrolyte and solid-electrolyte interphases of the Li anode are elucidated. Also, the suspension electrolyte design is applied in conventional and state-of-the-art high-performance electrolytes to demonstrate its applicability. Based on electrochemical analyses, improved Coulombic efficiency (up to ~99.7%), reduced Li nucleation overpotential, stabilized Li interphases and prolonged cycle life of anode-free cells (~70 cycles at 80% of initial capacity) were achieved with the suspension electrolytes. We expect this design principle and our findings to be expanded into developing electrolytes and solid-electrolyte interphases for Li metal batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41563-021-01172-3

    View details for PubMedID 35039645

  • Rational solvent molecule tuning for high-performance lithium metal battery electrolytes NATURE ENERGY Yu, Z., Rudnicki, P. E., Zhang, Z., Huang, Z., Celik, H., Oyakhire, S. T., Chen, Y., Kong, X., Kim, S., Xiao, X., Wang, H., Zheng, Y., Kamat, G. A., Kim, M., Bent, S. F., Qin, J., Cui, Y., Bao, Z. 2022
  • Potentiometric Measurement to Probe Solvation Energy and Its Correlation to Lithium Battery Cyclability. Journal of the American Chemical Society Kim, S. C., Kong, X., Vila, R. A., Huang, W., Chen, Y., Boyle, D. T., Yu, Z., Wang, H., Bao, Z., Qin, J., Cui, Y. 2021


    The electrolyte plays a critical role in lithium-ion batteries, as it impacts almost every facet of a battery's performance. However, our understanding of the electrolyte, especially solvation of Li+, lags behind its significance. In this work, we introduce a potentiometric technique to probe the relative solvation energy of Li+ in battery electrolytes. By measuring open circuit potential in a cell with symmetric electrodes and asymmetric electrolytes, we quantitatively characterize the effects of concentration, anions, and solvents on solvation energy across varied electrolytes. Using the technique, we establish a correlation between cell potential (Ecell) and cyclability of high-performance electrolytes for lithium metal anodes, where we find that solvents with more negative cell potentials and positive solvation energies-those weakly binding to Li+-lead to improved cycling stability. Cryogenic electron microscopy reveals that weaker solvation leads to an anion-derived solid-electrolyte interphase that stabilizes cycling. Using the potentiometric measurement for characterizing electrolytes, we establish a correlation that can guide the engineering of effective electrolytes for the lithium metal anode.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.1c03868

    View details for PubMedID 34184873

  • Correlating Li-Ion Solvation Structures and Electrode Potential Temperature Coefficients. Journal of the American Chemical Society Wang, H. n., Kim, S. C., Rojas, T. n., Zhu, Y. n., Li, Y. n., Ma, L. n., Xu, K. n., Ngo, A. T., Cui, Y. n. 2021


    Temperature coefficients (TCs) for either electrochemical cell voltages or potentials of individual electrodes have been widely utilized to study the thermal safety and cathode/anode phase changes of lithium (Li)-ion batteries. However, the fundamental significance of single electrode potential TCs is little known. In this work, we discover that the Li-ion desolvation process during Li deposition/intercalation is accompanied by considerable entropy change, which significantly contributes to the measured Li/Li+ electrode potential TCs. To explore this phenomenon, we compare the Li/Li+ electrode potential TCs in a series of electrolyte formulations, where the interaction between Li-ion and solvent molecules occurs at varying strength as a function of both solvent and anion species as well as salt concentrations. As a result, we establish correlations between electrode potential TCs and Li-ion solvation structures and further verify them by ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. We show that measurements of Li/Li+ electrode potential TCs provide valuable knowledge regarding the Li-ion solvation environments and could serve as a screening tool when designing future electrolytes for Li-ion/Li metal batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.0c10587

    View details for PubMedID 33506677

  • Underpotential lithium plating on graphite anodes caused by temperature heterogeneity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Wang, H., Zhu, Y., Kim, S. C., Pei, A., Li, Y., Boyle, D. T., Wang, H., Zhang, Z., Ye, Y., Huang, W., Liu, Y., Xu, J., Li, J., Liu, F., Cui, Y. 2020


    Rechargeability and operational safety of commercial lithium (Li)-ion batteries demand further improvement. Plating of metallic Li on graphite anodes is a critical reason for Li-ion battery capacity decay and short circuit. It is generally believed that Li plating is caused by the slow kinetics of graphite intercalation, but in this paper, we demonstrate that thermodynamics also serves a crucial role. We show that a nonuniform temperature distribution within the battery can make local plating of Li above 0 V vs. Li0/Li+ (room temperature) thermodynamically favorable. This phenomenon is caused by temperature-dependent shifts of the equilibrium potential of Li0/Li+ Supported by simulation results, we confirm the likelihood of this failure mechanism during commercial Li-ion battery operation, including both slow and fast charging conditions. This work furthers the understanding of nonuniform Li plating and will inspire future studies to prolong the cycling lifetime of Li-ion batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2009221117

    View details for PubMedID 33168752

  • Ultralight and fire-extinguishing current collectors for high-energy and high-safety lithium-ion batteries NATURE ENERGY Ye, Y., Chou, L., Liu, Y., Wang, H., Lee, H., Huang, W., Wan, J., Liu, K., Zhou, G., Yang, Y., Yang, A., Xiao, X., Gao, X., Boyle, D., Chen, H., Zhang, W., Kim, S., Cui, Y. 2020; 5 (10): 786–93