SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Kyungbin Lee
TIME: Friday, April 12, 2024, 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: Zoom meeting, Virtual
TITLE: Engineering 3D Nanostructured Materials for High-Energy Rechargeable Metal Batteries
COMMITTEE: Dr. Seung Woo Lee, Chair (ME)
Dr. Peter J. Hesketh (ME)
Dr. Marta C. Hatzell (ME)
Dr. Hailong Chen (ME)
Dr. Nian Liu (CHBE)


Employing metal anodes has been considered as one of the most promising technologies in rechargeable batteries due to their superior specific theoretical capacities (1166 mAh/g for Na and 820 mAh/g for Zn) compared to the conventional graphite anodes (372 mAh g-1 for Li). The high energy density of these metal anodes heralds a new era for battery technology, offering a pathway to more compact and long-lasting power sources. However, their practical application faces significant hurdles, including the uncontrolled growth of metal dendrites, the instability of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI), and the substantial volume change during charge-discharge cycles. These challenges can lead to short circuits, diminished battery life, and safety risks. Addressing these issues requires a nuanced approach to control the nucleation and growth of metal ions. Guiding a homogeneous initial nucleation and deposition of metal ions and providing a uniform flux for metal ions through the nanostructured engineering can be a key strategy to regulate the metal dendrite growth and stabilize the SEI. This research introduces an innovative 3D nanostructured engineering approach for Na and Zn metal anodes, serving as either a metal reservoir or a protective layer. This design effectively manages dendritic growth and boosts the reversibility of metal-ion cycling. The adoption of 3D nanostructured engineering in metal anodes represents a significant leap forward in battery technology. It addresses not only the current limitations of metal anode batteries but also lays the groundwork for the next generation of high-energy and rechargeable metal batteries. This breakthrough could revolutionize the energy storage sector, offering more sustainable and efficient solutions for a wide range of applications, from portable electronics to electric vehicles.