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Top International Journal in Chemistry Chem Publishes BIT PhD Student's Research Experience in Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) Batteries

Editor: News Agency of BIT

Translator: News Agency of BIT, Zhang Zijun

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Beijing Institute of Technology, December 23th, 2020: Recently, top international journal in chemistry Chem (impact factor 19.7) has invited a PhD student at Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science of BIT (Beijing Institute of Technology) , Zhao Meng, to share her research experience in lithium-sulphur (Li-S) batteries. The interview was published online in the title of“The pursuit for practical lithium-sulfur batteries” in Chem’s Potential Energy section. Potential Energy section invites world-wide outstanding senior PhD or postdoctoral students to share their researches monthly, providing them with a platform to discuss their research findings. The first author of this work is Zhao Meng, a doctoral student at Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science, BIT, whose tutor is Professor Huang Jiaqi, BIT.

For affording a relatively high theoretical energy density, Lithium-sulfur (Li–S) battery has been regarded as a very promising secondary energy storage system with high specific energy since it’s concept was first raised in 1960s. However, sulphur undergoes a complex multiphase multi-electron process during the electrochemical cycle, which is accompanied by hysteretic chemical kinetics, and these phenomena will result in irreversible loss of battery capacity and rapid decay in cycle life. In this article, PhD student Zhao Meng summarized her research ideas and experiences in the regulation of dynamics of sulphur positive, and further introduced the research results in this area achieved by the research group she is currently in, professor Huang Jiaqi’s team.

Zhao first conducted her research in the non-homogeneous electrocatalytic design for sulphur positive electrodes, hoping to accelerate the redox kinetics of sulphur by lowering the activation energy barrier of electrochemical reactions. But she realized in the following research that the performance of non-homogeneous catalyst is always restricted to a limited number of active sites, which will even be deactivated after deep discharge or cycling by the covering of insulation products. Therefore, she tried to introduce exogenous redox mediators as homogeneous catalysts in the cell to facilitate the redox process of sulphur by constructing additional electron pathways with fast kinetics. Although this procedure enhanced the overall electrode kinetics, but it did not change the nature of the polysulphide itself. The inadequate redox mediating ability of the polysulphide itself is always the key to the performance of the sulphur cathode. Therefore, the student and her team subsequently introduced a redox co-mediator into the cell to modulate the endogenous polysulphide redox mediator through chemical reactions in order to give it a higher redox mediating capacity.

At the end of the article, the student shares her experiences and feelings in professor Huang Jiaqi's team, looks at the challenges and opportunities that the field of lithium-sulphur batteries is facing, and expresses her determination and ambition to devote herself in the theoretical research on lithium-sulphur batteries and promote their practical application.


The introduction of the research team:

Zhao Meng, presently a PhD student at the School of Materials Science and Engineering/Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science, BIT, under the supervision of professor Huang Jia-Qi. Her current research mainly focuses on the dynamical regulation of the material used in the positive of lithium-sulphur battery. She has published 7 papers on Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Chem, ACS Cent Sci, J Energy Chem, Small Methods, among which one is ESI highly cited. She has been awarded the National Scholarship of BIT in the school year 2019-2020.

Huang Jiaqi, professor and graduate student tutor at Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science, BIT, member of Jiusan Society; has published more than one hundred research works on Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Adv. Mater., Adv. Funct. Mater., Sci. Bull.et al, with a h-factor of 75, and over 50 pieces are ESI highly cited. He has been selected to the first session of China Association for Science and Technology Youth Talent Promotion Project, awarded IESC Hou Debang Chemical Science and Technology Award, outstanding Youth in Particuology of Chinese Society of Particuology, National Special Support Program for High-level Personnel Recruitment (The National “Ten-thousand Talents Program), highly cited scientist in 2018-2020 by Clarivate Analytics, etc.


More details about the paper: Meng Zhao*. The pursuit for practical lithium-sulfur batteries, Chem 2020, 6, 3161-3162.

Link to the paper: https://www.cell.com/chem/fulltext/S2451-9294(20)30589-1