Bio


Ph.D., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. (09/2017 – present)
MS., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. (09/2017 – 04/2020)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My research focuses on the low-dimensional quantum materials for applications of electronics, magnetism, and energy etc.

Lab Affiliations


All Publications


  • Designing a Nanoscale Three-phase Electrochemical Pathway to Promote Pt-catalyzed Formaldehyde Oxidation. Nano letters Xu, J., Xiao, X., Zhang, Z., Wu, Y., Boyle, D. T., Lee, H. K., Huang, W., Li, Y., Wang, H., Li, J., Zhu, Y., Chen, B., Mitch, W., Cui, Y. 2020

    Abstract

    Gas-phase heterogeneous catalysis is a process spatially constrained on the two-dimensional surface of a solid catalyst. Here, we introduce a new toolkit to open up the third dimension. We discovered that the activity of a solid catalyst can be dramatically promoted by covering its surface with a nanoscale-thin layer of liquid electrolyte while maintaining efficient delivery of gas reactants, a strategy we call three-phase catalysis. Introducing the liquid electrolyte converts the original surface catalytic reaction into an electrochemical pathway with mass transfer facilitated by free ions in a three-dimensional space. We chose the oxidation of formaldehyde as a model reaction and observed a 25000-times enhancement in the turnover frequency of Pt in three-phase catalysis as compared to conventional heterogeneous catalysis. We envision three-phase catalysis as a new dimension for catalyst design and anticipate its applications in more chemical reactions from pollution control to the petrochemical industry.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c03560

    View details for PubMedID 33201720

  • Revealing and Elucidating ALD-Derived Control of Lithium Plating Microstructure ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS Oyakhire, S. T., Huang, W., Wang, H., Boyle, D. T., Schneider, J. R., de Paula, C., Wu, Y., Cui, Y., Bent, S. F. 2020
  • Tortuosity Effects in Lithium-Metal Host Anodes JOULE Chen, H., Pei, A., Wan, J., Lin, D., Vila, R., Wang, H., Mackanic, D., Steinruck, H., Huang, W., Li, Y., Yang, A., Xie, J., Wu, Y., Wang, H., Cui, Y. 2020; 4 (4): 938–52
  • Theoretical Calculation Guided Design of Single-Atom Catalysts toward Fast Kinetic and Long-Life Li-S Batteries. Nano letters Zhou, G. n., Zhao, S. n., Wang, T. n., Yang, S. Z., Johannessen, B. n., Chen, H. n., Liu, C. n., Ye, Y. n., Wu, Y. n., Peng, Y. n., Liu, C. n., Jiang, S. P., Zhang, Q. n., Cui, Y. n. 2020

    Abstract

    Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries are promising next-generation energy storage technologies due to their high theoretical energy density, environmental friendliness, and low cost. However, low conductivity of sulfur species, dissolution of polysulfides, poor conversion from sulfur reduction, and lithium sulfide (Li2S) oxidation reactions during discharge-charge processes hinder their practical applications. Herein, under the guidance of density functional theory calculations, we have successfully synthesized large-scale single atom vanadium catalysts seeded on graphene to achieve high sulfur content (80 wt % sulfur), fast kinetic (a capacity of 645 mAh g-1 at 3 C rate), and long-life Li-S batteries. Both forward (sulfur reduction) and reverse reactions (Li2S oxidation) are significantly improved by the single atom catalysts. This finding is confirmed by experimental results and consistent with theoretical calculations. The ability of single metal atoms to effectively trap the dissolved lithium polysulfides (LiPSs) and catalytically convert the LiPSs/Li2S during cycling significantly improved sulfur utilization, rate capability, and cycling life. Our work demonstrates an efficient design pathway for single atom catalysts and provides solutions for the development of high energy/power density Li-S batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b04719

    View details for PubMedID 31887051

  • Supercooled liquid sulfur maintained in three-dimensional current collector for high-performance Li-S batteries. Science advances Zhou, G. n., Yang, A. n., Gao, G. n., Yu, X. n., Xu, J. n., Liu, C. n., Ye, Y. n., Pei, A. n., Wu, Y. n., Peng, Y. n., Li, Y. n., Liang, Z. n., Liu, K. n., Wang, L. W., Cui, Y. n. 2020; 6 (21)

    Abstract

    In lithium-sulfur (Li-S) chemistry, the electrically/ionically insulating nature of sulfur and Li2S leads to sluggish electron/ion transfer kinetics for sulfur species conversion. Sulfur and Li2S are recognized as solid at room temperature, and solid-liquid phase transitions are the limiting steps in Li-S batteries. Here, we visualize the distinct sulfur growth behaviors on Al, carbon, Ni current collectors and demonstrate that (i) liquid sulfur generated on Ni provides higher reversible capacity, faster kinetics, and better cycling life compared to solid sulfur; and (ii) Ni facilitates the phase transition (e.g., Li2S decomposition). Accordingly, light-weight, 3D Ni-based current collector is designed to control the deposition and catalytic conversion of sulfur species toward high-performance Li-S batteries. This work provides insights on the critical role of the current collector in determining the physical state of sulfur and elucidates the correlation between sulfur state and battery performance, which will advance electrode designs in high-energy Li-S batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.aay5098

    View details for PubMedID 32937326

  • Supercooled liquid sulfur maintained in three-dimensional current collector for high-performance Li-S batteries. Science advances Zhou, G. n., Yang, A. n., Gao, G. n., Yu, X. n., Xu, J. n., Liu, C. n., Ye, Y. n., Pei, A. n., Wu, Y. n., Peng, Y. n., Li, Y. n., Liang, Z. n., Liu, K. n., Wang, L. W., Cui, Y. n. 2020; 6 (21): eaay5098

    Abstract

    In lithium-sulfur (Li-S) chemistry, the electrically/ionically insulating nature of sulfur and Li2S leads to sluggish electron/ion transfer kinetics for sulfur species conversion. Sulfur and Li2S are recognized as solid at room temperature, and solid-liquid phase transitions are the limiting steps in Li-S batteries. Here, we visualize the distinct sulfur growth behaviors on Al, carbon, Ni current collectors and demonstrate that (i) liquid sulfur generated on Ni provides higher reversible capacity, faster kinetics, and better cycling life compared to solid sulfur; and (ii) Ni facilitates the phase transition (e.g., Li2S decomposition). Accordingly, light-weight, 3D Ni-based current collector is designed to control the deposition and catalytic conversion of sulfur species toward high-performance Li-S batteries. This work provides insights on the critical role of the current collector in determining the physical state of sulfur and elucidates the correlation between sulfur state and battery performance, which will advance electrode designs in high-energy Li-S batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.aay5098

    View details for PubMedID 32494732

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7244266

  • Electrochemical generation of liquid and solid sulfur on two-dimensional layered materials with distinct areal capacities Nature Nanotechnology Yang, A., Zhou, G., et al 2020
  • Electrochemical generation of liquid and solid sulfur on two-dimensional layered materials with distinct areal capacities. Nature nanotechnology Yang, A. n., Zhou, G. n., Kong, X. n., Vilá, R. A., Pei, A. n., Wu, Y. n., Yu, X. n., Zheng, X. n., Wu, C. L., Liu, B. n., Chen, H. n., Xu, Y. n., Chen, D. n., Li, Y. n., Fakra, S. n., Hwang, H. Y., Qin, J. n., Chu, S. n., Cui, Y. n. 2020

    Abstract

    It has recently been shown that sulfur, a solid material in its elementary form S8, can stay in a supercooled state as liquid sulfur in an electrochemical cell. We establish that this newly discovered state could have implications for lithium-sulfur batteries. Here, through in situ studies of electrochemical sulfur generation, we show that liquid (supercooled) and solid elementary sulfur possess very different areal capacities over the same charging period. To control the physical state of sulfur, we studied its growth on two-dimensional layered materials. We found that on the basal plane, only liquid sulfur accumulates; by contrast, at the edge sites, liquid sulfur accumulates if the thickness of the two-dimensional material is small, whereas solid sulfur nucleates if the thickness is large (tens of nanometres). Correlating the sulfur states with their respective areal capacities, as well as controlling the growth of sulfur on two-dimensional materials, could provide insights for the design of future lithium-sulfur batteries.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41565-019-0624-6

    View details for PubMedID 31988508

  • Fast lithium growth and short circuit induced by localized-temperature hotspots in lithium batteries. Nature communications Zhu, Y., Xie, J., Pei, A., Liu, B., Wu, Y., Lin, D., Li, J., Wang, H., Chen, H., Xu, J., Yang, A., Wu, C., Wang, H., Chen, W., Cui, Y. 2019; 10 (1): 2067

    Abstract

    Fast-charging and high-energy-density batteries pose significant safety concerns due to high rates of heat generation. Understanding how localized high temperatures affect the battery is critical but remains challenging, mainly due to the difficulty of probing battery internal temperature with high spatial resolution. Here we introduce a method to induce and sense localized high temperature inside a lithium battery using micro-Raman spectroscopy. We discover that temperature hotspots can induce significant lithium metal growth as compared to the surrounding lower temperature area due to the locally enhanced surface exchange current density. More importantly, localized high temperature can be one of the factors to cause battery internal shorting, which further elevates the temperature and increases the risk of thermal runaway. This work provides important insights on the effects of heterogeneous temperatures within batteries and aids the development of safer batteries, thermal management schemes, and diagnostic tools.

    View details for PubMedID 31061393

  • A Two-Dimensional MoS2 Catalysis Transistor by Solid-State Ion Gating Manipulation and Adjustment (SIGMA). Nano letters Wu, Y. n., Ringe, S. n., Wu, C. L., Chen, W. n., Yang, A. n., Chen, H. n., Tang, M. n., Zhou, G. n., Hwang, H. Y., Chan, K. n., Cui, Y. n. 2019

    Abstract

    A variety of methods including tuning chemical compositions, structures, crystallinity, defects and strain, and electrochemical intercalation have been demonstrated to enhance the catalytic activity. However, none of these tuning methods provide direct dynamical control during catalytic reactions. Here we propose a new method to tune the activity of catalysts through solid-state ion gating manipulation and adjustment (SIGMA) using a catalysis transistor. SIGMA can electrostatically dope the surface of catalysts with a high electron concentration over 5 × 1013 cm-2 and thus modulate both the chemical potential of the reaction intermediates and their electrical conductivity. The hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on both pristine and defective MoS2 were investigated as model reactions. Our theoretical and experimental results show that the overpotential at 10 mA/cm2 and Tafel slope can be in situ, continuously, dynamically, and reversibly tuned over 100 mV and around 100 mV/dec, respectively.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b02888

    View details for PubMedID 31499003