Chemical Design and Synthesis of Nanostructured Hybrid Materials for the Cathode of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Yanglong Hou

Peking University

Abstract: Lithium-sulfur batteries (LSBs), have been considered as promising power source for future electric vehicles (EVs) due to their high energy and power densities. Thus, many efforts have been made on new electrode materials that can bring the realization of these devices. However, structural disintegration, limited access to redox sites and loss of electrical contact have long been identified as primary reasons for capacity loss and poor cyclic life of these materials. Thus, rational design can inhibit the side reaction by surface protection, make all redox sites accessible by increasing the intrinsic conductivity of the active materials, maintain a continues network for ionic and electronic flow and keep the structural integrity, resulting improved performance and excellent capacity retention with long cyclic life to meet the requirements set by United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) for electrode materials in EVs. Here, upon combining active materials with conductive matrix, we have developed different hybrid nanostructures of metal oxides, hydroxides and metal alloys with N-doped graphene or carbon to control above mentioned problems and to achieve the goals set by USABC. The resulted nanostructured hybrid materials possess extraordinary performances as the electrodes of LIBs or LSBs with long cyclic stability and excellent rate capability. The high performance of the hybrid materials was resulted from the defined nannostructures and the synergistic effect of several components. These strategies to combine the different properties enhancing factors in one composite with engineered structures will bring the realization of these devices in broad markets.

Biography: Yanglong Hou is currently a Changjiang Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Peking University (PKU). He received his M. S. (in Applied Chemistry) in 1998 and Ph.D. (in Materials Science) in 2000, respectively, from Harbin Institute of Technology. After a short post-doctoral training at Peking University, he worked at the University of Tokyo from 2002-2005 as JSPS foreign special researcher and also at Brown University from 2005-2007 as postdoctoral research associate. In December 2007, Dr. Hou jointed College of Engineering at PKU, where he was appointed as tenure-track Professor. He was promoted to Professor in 2012 and to Chang Jiang Chair Professor in 2014.

Professor Hou’s current research focuses on the design and chemical synthesis of functional nanoparticles and graphene, and their biomedical and energy-related applications. His research makes impacted contribution in monodisperse magnetic nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticle-based molecular probes for diagnosis and therapy, and graphene-based composites for energy conversion and storage, in which has produced 11 China patents and over 120 papers in prestigious journals, including Adv. Mater., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. and ACS Nano. Professor Hou’s research excellence was recognized by an elected JSPS fellow in 2003, Outstanding Young Investigator of National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in 2011, the Green Biomedical Award in 2012, CCS-RSC Young Chemist Award in 2013, Changjiang Chair Professorship of MOE and Young Talent Leadership of Science and Techonology of MOST in 2014, Graphene Award supported by the Internatioal Advanced Materials Association and “Ten-thousand Talent Plan” in 2016. His research has also been highlighted 10 times as the front pages of prestigious journals and widely reported by APS News, Technology Reviews, Materials Views and China Science Newspapers.

Professor Hou is currently an Editorial Board Member of several international journals including Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group), Rare Metals, and Advance in Chemistry, etc. He is an active reviewer for over 50 international journals, including Nature Commun., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Adv. Mater., Nano Letters, ACS Nano, and Energy Environ. Sci.. He has also been invited to deliver talks for over 30 times in international conferences, and review proposals for funding agencies worldwide, including the Georgia and Singapore.