Research Seminar | Designing a Better Interface: Advanced Characterization of Energy Materials with Electron Microscopy


Energy storage and conversion devices such as fuel cells and batteries can address the intermittency challenge of renewable energy generation and play a crucial role in decarbonized transportation systems. However, material level advances in battery/fuel cell technologies are needed to improve their safety, efficiency, reliability and affordability. Electrochemical interfaces are often the performance bottlenecks in a wide range of energy devices. A better understanding and control of these interfaces are critical for the future development of fuel cell and battery technologies. In this seminar, I’ll present my research on the characterization and engineering of energy material interfaces utilizing advanced electron microscopy. I’ll specifically discuss the interface engineering of oxygen electrocatalysts and interfacial protection and characterization of mechanical degradation in the all-solid-state batteries. I'll demonstrate how electron microscopy can provide experimental input, guidance, and verification to the predictive theory of interface design, and how acquired scientific insights can guide the design and synthesis of better materials for energy storage and conversion devices.


Dr. Yaqian Zhang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), in the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta in Canada. Her research interests include developing and utilizing advanced electron microscopy characterization and diagnostic methods in the field of energy storage and conversion. Her research focuses on probing the chemical and structural information of battery materials/interfaces and oxide electrocatalysts both in situ and ex situ at different length scales.


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