Yunlong Zhao

Dr Yunlong Zhao

Lecturer in Energy Storage and Bioelectronics, Senior Research Scientist at NPL
+44 (0)1483 689862
22 ATI 02



Research interests

Research projects

Flexible electronics and bioelectronic probes for biomedical applications
Novel electrochemical energy conversion/storage devices and electrochemical probing
Advanced synthesis, assembly and in-situ characterisation of energy and electronic materials


Postgraduate research supervision

My teaching

My publications


Publications (October 2018 - Present):

64. Xuhui Yao, Emilia Olsson, Manman Wang, Jianan Wang, Qiong Cai, Nianhua Peng*, Roger Webb, Yunlong Zhao* "Xenon Ion Implantation Induced Surface Compressive Stress for Preventing Dendrite Penetration in Solid-State Electrolytes" Small (2022), (Invited for Rising Stars series as worldwide recognized early career researchers)

63. Sailin Liu, Ruizhi Zhang, Jianfeng Mao, Yunlong Zhao, Qiong Cai*, Zaiping Guo* "From room temperature to harsh temperature applications: Fundamentals and perspectives on electrolytes in zinc metal batteries" Science Advances (2022), 8, eabn5097.

62. Dannielle M. Cox-Pridmore, Fernando A. Castro, S. Ravi P. Silva, Patrizia Camelliti, Yunlong Zhao* "Emerging Bioelectronic Strategies for Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering and Implantation" Small (2022), 2105281

61. Xuhui Yao, Emilia Olsson, Jun Zhao, Wencong Feng, Wen Luo, Shuangshuang Tan, Meng Huang, Yunlong Zhao, Jianyu Huang, Qiong Cai, Liqiang Mai*, "Voltage plateau variation in a bismuth-potassium battery" Journal of Materials Chemistry A (2022)

60. Xuhui Yao, Tomáš Šamořil, Jiří Dluhoš, John F. Watts, Zhijia Du, Bohang Song, S. Ravi P. Silva, Tan Sui*, Yunlong Zhao*. "Degradation Diagnostics from the Subsurface of Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes" Energy Environ. Mater. (2021):

59. Yameng Fan, Wenchao Zhang, Yunlong Zhao, Zaiping Guo, and Qiong Cai. "Fundamental Understanding and Practical Challenges of Lithium-Rich Oxide Cathode Materials: Layered and Disordered-Rocksalt Structure." Energy Storage Materials 40 (2021): 51-71.

58. Qiulong Wei, Qidong Li, Yalong Jiang, Yunlong Zhao, Shuangshuang Tan, Jun Dong, Liqiang Mai, and Dong-Liang Peng. "High-Energy and High-Power Pseudocapacitor–Battery Hybrid Sodium-Ion Capacitor with Na+ Intercalation Pseudocapacitance Anode." Nano-Micro Letters 13.1 (2021): 1-13.

57. Shiqi Guo, Kaijin Wu, Chengpan Li, Hao Wang, Zheng Sun, Dawei Xi, Sheng Zhang, Mona E. Zaghloul, Changning Wang, Fernando  A. Castro, Dong Yang, Yunlong Zhao*. "Integrated contact lens sensor system based on multifunctional ultrathin MoS2 transistors." Matter 4,3, (2021): 969-985. 

56. Xuelei Pan, Mengyu Yan, Congli Sun, Kangning Zhao, Wen Luo, Xufeng Hong, Yunlong Zhao, Lin Xu, and Liqiang Mai*. "Electrochemically Exfoliating MoS2 into Atomically Thin Planar‐Stacking Through a Selective Lateral Reaction Pathway." Advanced Functional Materials 31.8 (2021): 2007840.

55. Jiashen Meng, Jiantao Li, Jinshuai Liu, Xingcai Zhang, Gengping Jiang, Lu Ma, Zhi-Yi Hu, Yunlong Zhao, et al. "Universal Approach to Fabricating Graphene-Supported Single-Atom Catalysts from Doped ZnO Solid Solutions." ACS Central Science 6, 8, (2020): 1431–1440

54. Anqi Zhang, Yunlong Zhao, Siheng Sean You, Charles M.Lieber*. "Nanowire probes could drive high-resolution brain-machine interfaces." Nano Today 31 (2020) 100821

53. Yao Wang, Xufeng Hong, Yaqing Guo, Yunlong Zhao, Xiaobin Liao, Xiong Liu, Qi Li, Liang He, and Liqiang Mai*. "Wearable Textile‐Based Co− Zn Alkaline Microbattery with High Energy Density and Excellent Reliability." Small (2020):10.1002/smll.202000293.

52. Gen He, Ning Hu, Alexander M. Xu, Xiangling Li, Yunlong Zhao, and Xi Xie. "Nanoneedle Platforms: The Many Ways to Pierce the Cell Membrane." Advanced Functional Materials (2020): 1909890.

51. Juyan Zhang, Xuhui Yao, Ravi K. Misra, Qiong Cai, and Yunlong Zhao*. "Progress in electrolytes for beyond-lithium-ion batteries." Journal of Materials Science & Technology (2020). (Invited Review)

50. Songge Zhang, Guohua Gao, Jiace Hao, Manman Wang, Han Zhu*,  Mingliang Du, and Yunlong Zhao*. "Low-electronegativity vanadium substitution in cobalt carbide induced enhanced electron transfer for efficient overall water splitting." ACS applied materials & interfaces 11.46 (2019): 43261-43269.

49. RDIG Dharmasena, KDGI Jayawardena, Zakaria Saadi, Xuhui Yao, RMI Bandara, Yunlong Zhao, SRP Silva "Energy Scavenging and Powering E-Skin Functional Devices" Proceedings of the IEEE 107, (2019) 2118-2136.

48. Yunlong Zhao* "Linking brains to computers: how new implants are helping us achieve this goal" The Conversation 6, (2019) (Invited Perspective)

47. Yunlong Zhao, Siheng Sean You, Anqi Zhang, Jae-Hyun Lee, Jinlin Huang, Charles M Lieber* “Scalable ultrasmall nanowire 3D transistor probes for intracellular recording” Nature Nanotechnology 14,(2019)  783–790.

(News & Views: Curving neural nanobioelectronics, Nature Nanotechnology 1 July 2019; An array of ‘nano-hairpins’ probes the interior of cells, Nature Research Device and Materials Engineering 1 July 2019; Ultra-small nanoprobes could be a leap forward in high-resolution human-machine interfaces, ScienceDaily 3 July 2019; Nanowires Pin Neurons: a Nano ‘‘Moon Landing’’, Matter 1, (2019) 550–564)

46. Zechao Zhuang, Yong Li, Jiazhao Huang, Zilan Li, Kangning Zhao, Yunlong Zhao, Lin Xu, Liang Zhou, Lyudmila V. Moskaleva, and Liqiang Mai*. "Sisyphus effects in hydrogen electrochemistry on metal silicides enabled by silicene subunit edge." Science Bulletin 64, (2019): 617–624.

45.  Guobin Zhang, Tengfei Xiong, Xuelei Pan, Yunlong Zhao*, Mengyu Yan, Haining Zhang, Buke Wu, Kangning Zhao, Liqiang Mai*, "Illumining phase transformation dynamics of vanadium oxide cathode by multimodal techniques under operando conditions." Nano Research (2019): 1–6.

44. Xiao Yang, Tao Zhou, Ted Zwang, Guosong Hong, Yunlong Zhao, Robert Viveros, Tianming Fu, Teng Gao and Charles M Lieber*, “Bioinspired neuron-like electronics.” Nature Materials 18, (2019): 510–517.

43. Liu, Zhenhui, Yunlong Zhao, Ruhan He, Wen Luo, Jiashen Meng, Qiang Yu, Dongyuan Zhao, Liang Zhou, and Liqiang Mai. "Yolk@ Shell SiOx/C microspheres with semi-graphitic carbon coating on the exterior and interior surfaces for durable lithium storage." Energy Storage Materials 19 (2019): 299-305.

42Xuhui Yao, Yunlong Zhao*, Fernando Castro, and Liqiang Mai*. "Rational Design of Pre-Intercalated Electrodes for Rechargeable Battery." ACS Energy Letters 4, 3, (2019): 771–778.

41. Zhenhui Liu, Qiang Yu, Yunlong Zhao, Ruhan He, Ming Xu, Shihao Feng, Shidong Li, Liang Zhou, and Liqiang Mai*. "Silicon oxides: a promising family of anode materials for lithium-ion batteries." Chemical Society Reviews 48, 1, (2019): 285-309.

40. Yanhui Chu*, Siyi Jing, Da Liu, Jinchao Liu, and Yunlong Zhao*. "Morphological control and kinetics in three dimensions for hierarchical nanostructures growth by screw dislocations." Acta Materialia 162 (2019): 284-291.

39. Qi Li, Zhiquan Hu, Ziang Liu, Yunlong Zhao, Ming Li, Jiashen Meng, Xiaocong Tian, Xiaoming Xu, and Liqiang Mai*. "Recent Advances in Nanowire‐Based, Flexible, Freestanding Electrodes for Energy Storage." Chemistry–A European Journal 24, no. 69 (2018): 18307-18321.


Publications Prior to Surrey/NPL (October 2018):

38. Yanhui Chu*, Siyi Jing, Xiang Yu, and Yunlong Zhao*. "High-temperature Plateau–Rayleigh growth of beaded SiC/SiO2 nanochain heterostructures." Crystal Growth & Design 18.5 (2018): 2941–2947.

37. Zhenhui Liu, Yunlong Zhao, Ruhan He, Wen Luo, Jiashen Meng, Qiang Yu, Dongyuan Zhao, Liang Zhou, and Liqiang Mai. "Yolk@ Shell SiOx/C microspheres with semi-graphitic carbon coating on the exterior and interior surfaces for durable lithium storage." Energy Storage Materials (2018).

36. Lin Xu†, Yunlong Zhao†, Kwadwo Asare Owusu, Liqiang Mai. "Recent advances in nanowire–biosystem interface: from chemical conversion, energy production to electrophysiology." Chem, 4, (2018): 1538-1559.

35. Qiulong Wei, Qinqin Wang, Qidong Li, Qinyou An, Yunlong Zhao, Zhuo Peng, Yalong Jiang, Shuangshuang Tan, Mengyu Yan, and Liqiang Mai. "Pseudocapacitive Layered Iron Vanadate Nanosheets Cathode for Ultrahigh-Rate Lithium-Ion Storage." Nano Energy (2018).

34. Liqiang Mai, Mengyu Yan, Yunlong Zhao "Track batteries degrading in real time." Nature 546.7659 (2017): 469.

33. Xiaobin Liao, Yunlong Zhao, Junhui Wang, Wei Yang, Lin Xu, Xiaocong Tian, Yi Shuang, Kwadwo Asare Owusu, Mengyu Yan, and Liqiang Mai "MoS2/MnO2 heterostructured nanodevices for electrochemical energy storage.” Nano Research, 11.4 (2018): 2083-2092.

32. Jiashen Meng, Haichang Guo, Chaojiang Niu, Yunlong Zhao, Lin Xu, Qi Li, and Liqiang Mai  "Advances in structure and property optimizations of battery electrode materials. " Joule 1 (2017), 522–547.

31. Yunlong Zhao, Jun Yao, Lin Xu, Max N Mankin, Yinbo Zhu, Hengan Wu, Liqiang Mai, Qingjie Zhang, Charles M Lieber "Shape-controlled deterministic assembly of nanowires." Nano Letters 16.4 (2016): 2644-2650.

30. Mengyu Yan, Guobin Zhang, Qiulong Wei, Xiaocong Tian, Kangning Zhao, Qinyou An, Liang Zhou, Yunlong Zhao, Chaojiang Niu, and Wenhao Ren "In operando observation of temperature-dependent phase evolution in lithium-incorporation olivine cathode. " Nano Energy 22, (2016), 406-413.

29. Longbing Qu, Yunlong Zhao, Aamir Minhas Khan, Chunhua Han, Kalele Mulonda Hercule, Mengyu Yan, Xingyu Liu, Wei Chen, Dandan Wang, Zhengyang Cai, Xiaolin Zheng, Liqiang Mai "Interwoven three-dimensional architecture of cobalt oxide Nanobrush-graphene@NiXCo2X(OH)6X for high-performance supercapacitors", Nano Letters, 15 (2015), 2037-44.

28. Chaojiang Niu, Jiashen Meng, Xuanpeng Wang, Chunhua Han, Mengyu Yan, Kangning Zhao, Xiaoming Xu, Wenhao Ren, Yunlong Zhao, and Lin Xu "General synthesis of complex nanotubes by gradient electrospinning and controlled pyrolysis. " Nature Communications 6, (2015).

27. Yunlong Zhao, Chunhua Han, Junwei Yang, Jie Su, Xiaoming Xu, Shuo Li, Lin Xu, Ruopian Fang, Hong Jiang, Xiaodong Zou, Bo Song, Liqiang Mai, Qingjie Zhang "Stable alkali metal ion intercalation compounds as optimized metal oxide nanowire cathodes for lithium batteries." Nano Letters 15.3 (2015): 2180-2185.

26. Qiulong Wei, Qinyou An, Dandan Chen, Liqiang Mai, Shiyu Chen, Yunlong Zhao, Kalele Mulonda Hercule, Lin Xu, Aamir Minhas-Khan, and Qingjie Zhang "One-pot synthesized bicontinuous hierarchical Li3V2(PO4)3/C mesoporous nanowires for high-rate and ultralong-life lithium-ion batteries." Nano Letters 14, (2014), 1042-1048.

25. Xiaocong Tian, Xu Xu, Liang He, Qiulong Wei, Mengyu Yan, Lin Xu, Yunlong Zhao, Chuchu Yang, and Liqiang Mai  "Ultrathin pre-lithiated V6O13 nanosheet cathodes with enhanced electrical transport and cyclability. " Journal of Power Sources 255, (2014), 235-241.

24. Liqiang Mai, Qiulong Wei, Xiaocong Tian, Yunlong Zhao, and Qinyou An "Electrochemical nanowire devices for energy storage. " IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology 13, (2014), 10-15.

23. Yunlong Zhao, Jiangang Feng, Xue Liu, Fengchao Wang, Lifen Wang, Changwei Shi, Lei Huang, Xi Feng, Xiyuan Chen, Lin Xu, Mengyu Yan, Qingjie Zhang, Xuedong Bai, Hengan Wu, Liqiang Mai "Self-adaptive strain-relaxation optimization for high-energy lithium storage material through crumpling of graphene." Nature Communications 5 (2014).

22. Liqiang Mai, Qinyou An, Qiulong Wei, Jiayang Fei, Pengfei Zhang, Xu Xu, Yunlong Zhao, Mengyu Yan, Wen Wen, and Lin Xu "Nanoflakes‐assembled three‐dimensional hollow‐porous v2o5 as lithium storage cathodes with high‐rate capacity. " Small 10, (2014), 3032-3037.

21. Yanzhu Luo, Xu Xu, Yuxiang Zhang, Yuqiang Pi, Yunlong Zhao, Xiaocong Tian, Qinyou An, Qiulong Wei, and Liqiang Mai "Hierarchical carbon decorated Li3V2(PO4)3 as a bicontinuous cathode with high‐rate capability and broad temperature adaptability. " Advanced Energy Materials 4, (2014), 16.

20. Dandan Wang†, Yunlong Zhao†, Xu Xu, Kalele Mulonda Hercule, Mengyu Yan, Qinyou An, Xiaocong Tian, Jiaming Xu, Longbing Qu, Liqiang Mai "Novel Li2MnO3 nanowire anode with internal Li-enrichment for use in a Li-ion battery." Nanoscale 6.14 (2014): 8124-8129.

19. Mengyu Yan, Fengchao Wang, Chunhua Han, Xinyu Ma, Xu Xu, Qinyou An, Lin Xu, Chaojiang Niu, Yunlong Zhao, and Xiaocong Tian "Nanowire templated semihollow bicontinuous graphene scrolls: designed construction, mechanism, and enhanced energy storage performance." Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, (2013), 18176-18182.

18. Liqiang Mai, Han Li, Yunlong Zhao, Lin Xu, Xu Xu, Yanzhu Luo, Zhengfei Zhang, Wang Ke, Chaojiang Niu, and Qingjie Zhang. "Fast ionic diffusion-enabled nanoflake electrode by spontaneous electrochemical pre-intercalation for high-performance supercapacitor." Scientific Reports 3 (2013): 1718.

17. Chaojiang Niu, Chunhua Han, Yunlong Zhao, Xiaocong Tian, Wanli Guo, Yanhui Gu, and Liqiang Mai  "Synthesis and optical property of size-tunable vanadium oxide nano-dandelions. " Journal of Nanoscience Letters 3, (2013), 27-30.

16. Liqiang Mai, Aamir Minhas-Khan, Xiaocong Tian, Kalele Mulonda Hercule, Yunlong Zhao, Lin Xu, and Xu Xu  "Synergistic interaction between redox-active electrolyte and binder-free functionalized carbon for ultrahigh supercapacitor performance. " Nature Communications 4, (2013), 2923.

15. Liqiang Mai, Qiulong Wei, Qinyou An, Xiaocong Tian, Yunlong Zhao, Xu Xu, Lin Xu, Liang Chang, and Qingjie Zhang  Hybrid nanostructures: Nanoscroll buffered hybrid nanostructural VO2(b) cathodes for high‐rate and long‐life lithium storage. Advanced Materials 25, (2013), 2968-2968.

14. Liqiang Mai, Shuo Li, Yifan Dong, Yunlong Zhao, Yanzhu Luo, and Hongmei Xu  "Long-life and high-rate Li3V2(PO4)3 nanosphere cathode materials with three-dimensional continuous electron pathways." Nanoscale 5, (2013), 4864-4869.

13. Liqiang Mai, Han Li, Yunlong Zhao, Lin Xu, Xu Xu, Yanzhu Luo, Zhengfei Zhang, Wang Ke, Chaojiang Niu, and Qingjie Zhang  Fast ionic diffusion-enabled nanoflake electrode by spontaneous electrochemical pre-intercalation for high-performance supercapacitor. Scientific Reports 3, (2013).

12. Liqiang Mai, Fei Dong, Xu Xu, Yanzhu Luo, Qinyou An, Yunlong Zhao, Jie Pan, and Jingnan Yang  "Cucumber-like V2O5/Poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)&MnO2 nanowires with enhanced electrochemical cyclability." Nano Letters 13, (2013), 740-745.

11. Kalele Mulonda Hercule, Qiulong Wei, Aamir Minhas Khan, Yunlong Zhao, Xiaocong Tian, and Liqiang Mai  Synergistic effect of hierarchical nanostructured MoO2/Co(OH)2 with largely enhanced pseudocapacitor cyclability. Nano Letters 13, (2013), 5685-5691.

10. Chunhua Han, Mengyu Yan, Liqiang Mai, Xiaocong Tian, Lin Xu, Xu Xu, Qinyou An, Yunlong Zhao, Xinyu Ma, and Junlin Xie "V2O5 quantum dots/graphene hybrid nanocomposite with stable cyclability for advanced lithium batteries. " Nano Energy 2, (2013), 916-922.

9. Liang Chang, Liqiang Mai, Xu Xu, Qinyou An, Yunlong Zhao, Dandan Wang, and Xi Feng  Pore-controlled synthesis of Mn2O3 microspheres for ultralong-life lithium storage electrode. RSC Advances 3, (2013), 1947-1952.

8. Qinyou An, Qiulong Wei, Liqiang Mai, Jiayang Fei, Xu Xu, Yunlong Zhao, Mengyu Yan, Pengfei Zhang, and Shizhe Huang  Supercritically exfoliated ultrathin vanadium pentoxide nanosheets with high rate capability for lithium batteries. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 15, (2013), 16828-16833.

7. Yunlong Zhao, Lin Xu, Liqiang Mai, Chunhua Han, Qinyou An, Xu Xu, Xue Liu, Qingjie Zhang "Hierarchical mesoporous perovskite La0.5Sr0.5CoO2.91 nanowires with ultrahigh capacity for Li-air batteries." PNAS 109.48 (2012): 19569-19574.

6. Xu Xu, Yanzhu Luo, Liqiang Mai, Yunlong Zhao, Qinyou An, Lin Xu, Fan Hu, Lei Zhang, and Qingjie Zhang  "Topotactically synthesized ultralong LiV3O8 nanowire cathode materials for high-rate and long-life rechargeable lithium batteries. " NPG Asia Materials 4, (2012), e20.

5. Chunhua Han, Yuqiang Pi, Qinyou An, Liqiang Mai, Junlin Xie, Xu Xu, Lin Xu, Yunlong Zhao, Chaojiang Niu, and Aamir Minhas Khan "Substrate-assisted self-organization of radial β-agvo3 nanowire clusters for high rate rechargeable lithium batteries. " Nano letters 12, (2012), 4668-4673.

4. Liqiang Mai, Fan Yang, Yunlong Zhao, Xu Xu, Lin Xu, Yanzhu Luo "Hierarchical MnMoO4/CoMoO4 heterostructured nanowires with enhanced supercapacitor performance." Nature Communications 2 (2011): 381.

3. Liqiang Mai, Fan Yang, Yunlong Zhao, Xu Xu, Lin Xu, Bin Hu, Yanzhu Luo, and Hangyu Liu  Molybdenum oxide nanowires: Synthesis & properties. Materials Today 14, (2011), 346-353.

2. Liqiang Mai, Xu Xu, Chunhua Han, Yanzhu Luo, Lin Xu, Yimin A Wu, and Yunlong Zhao  "Rational synthesis of silver vanadium oxides/polyaniline triaxial nanowires with enhanced electrochemical property." Nano Letters 11, (2011), 4992-4996.

1. Liqiang Mai, Lin Xu, Chunhua Han, Xu Xu, Yanzhu Luo, Shiyong Zhao, and Yunlong Zhao "Electrospun ultralong hierarchical vanadium oxide nanowires with high performance for lithium ion batteries. " Nano Letters 10, (2010), 4750-4755.


XUHUI YAO, Emilia Olsson, J Zhao, W Feng, Wen Luo, SL Tan, Meng Huang, YUNLONG ZHAO, Jianyu Huang, QIONG CAI, Liqiang Mai (2022)Voltage plateau variation in a bismuth-potassium battery, In: Journal of materials chemistry. A, Materials for energy and sustainability10(6)pp. 2917-2923 Royal Society of Chemistry

Voltage plateau is an eigenvalue associated with the electrochemical reaction and hence a feasible tool for real-time detection of the state of charge in batteries. The variation of voltage plateau generally relates to the degradation of batteries, indicating the changes in the structure and/or the composition of electrode materials. In this work, we focus on a voltage plateau variation in a bismuth-potassium cell, investigating the electrode evolutions by two in situ methodologies. The phase transition reveals an intermediate phase in the reaction process, featuring a very limited but constant mass fraction. An irreversible structural collapse that follows leads to the exponential magnifying of the intermediate phase, taking responsibility for the distinct diffraction peaks and new voltage plateaus in the following cycles. This reaction mechanism builds the bridge between voltage plateau variation and electrode evolution, highlighting a combined effect of intermediate phase and structural collapse.

Yuren Xiang, Yameng Cao, Wenqiang Yang, Rui Hu, Sebastian Wood, Bowei Li, Qin Hu, Fan Zhang, Jujie He, Mozhgan Yavari, Jinlai Zhao, Yunlong Zhao, Jun Song, Junle Qu, Rui Zhu, Thomas P Russell, S. Ravi P Silva, Wei Zhang (2021)Laser‐induced recoverable fluorescence quenching of perovskite films at a microscopic grain‐scale, In: Energy & environmental materials (Hoboken, N.J.) Wiley

Understanding the fundamental properties of metal halide perovskite materials is driving the development of novel optoelectronic applications. Here, we report the observation of a recoverable laser-induced fluorescence quenching phenomenon in perovskite films with a microscopic grain-scale restriction, accompanied by spectral variations. This fluorescence quenching depends on the laser intensity and the dwell time under Auger recombination dominated conditions. These features indicate that the perovskite lattice deformation may take the main responsibility for the transient, show a new aspect to understand halide perovskite photo-stability. We further modulate this phenomenon by adjusting the charge carrier recombination and extraction, revealing that efficient carrier transfer can improve the bleaching resistance of perovskite grains. Our results provide future opportunities to attain high-performance devices by tuning the perovskite lattice disorder and harvesting the energetic carriers.

Xuhui Yao, Tomáš Šamořil, Jiří Dluhoš, John F Watts, Zhijia Du, Bohang Song, S. Ravi P Silva, Tan Sui, Yunlong Zhao (2021)Degradation Diagnostics from the Subsurface of Lithium‐Ion Battery Electrodes, In: Energy & Environmental Materials Wiley

Despite the long-established rocking-chair theory of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), developing novel characterization methodology with higher spatiotemporal resolution facilitates a better understanding of the solid electrolyte interphase studies to shape the reaction mechanisms. In this work, we develop a Xenon ion plasma focused ion beam (Xe+ PFIB)-based characterization technique to probe the cross-sectional interface of both ternary cathode and graphite anode electrodes, with the focus on revealing the chemical composition and distribution underneath the electrode surface by in-depth analysis of secondary ions. Particularly, the lithium fluoride is detected in the pristine cathode prior to contact with the electrolyte, reflecting that the electrode degradation is in the form of the loss of lithium inventory during electrode preparation. This degradation is related to the hydrolysis of the cathode material and the decomposition of the PVDF binder. Through the quantitative analysis of the transition-metal degradation products, manganese is found to be the dominant element in the newly formed inactive fluoride deposition on the cathode, while no transition metal signal can be found inside the anode electrode. These insights at high resolution implemented via a PFIB-based characterization technique not only enrich the understanding of the degradation mechanism in the LIBs but also identify and enable a high-sensitivity methodology to obtain the chemical survey at the subsurface, which will help remove the capacity-fade observed in most LIBs.

Xiao Yang, Tao Zhou, Theodore J. Zwang, Guosong Hong, Yunlong Zhao, Robert D. Viveros, Tian-Ming Fu, Teng Gao, Charles M. Lieber (2019)Bioinspired neuron-like electronics, In: Nature Materials18(5)pp. 510-517

As an important application of functional biomaterials, neural probes have contributed substantially to studying the brain. Bioinspired and biomimetic strategies have begun to be applied to the development of neural probes, although these and previous generations of probes have had structural and mechanical dissimilarities from their neuron targets that lead to neuronal loss, neuroinflammatory responses and measurement instabilities. Here, we present a bioinspired design for neural probes—neuron-like electronics (NeuE)—where the key building blocks mimic the subcellular structural features and mechanical properties of neurons. Full three-dimensional mapping of implanted NeuE–brain interfaces highlights the structural indistinguishability and intimate interpenetration of NeuE and neurons. Time-dependent histology and electrophysiology studies further reveal a structurally and functionally stable interface with the neuronal and glial networks shortly following implantation, thus opening opportunities for next-generation brain–machine interfaces. Finally, the NeuE subcellular structural features are shown to facilitate migration of endogenous neural progenitor cells, thus holding promise as an electrically active platform for transplantation-free regenerative medicine.

Guobin Zhang, Tengfei Xiong, Xuelei Pan, Yunlong Zhao, Mengyu Yan, Haining Zhang, Buke Wu, Kangning Zhao, Liqiang Mai (2019)Illumining phase transformation dynamics of vanadium oxide cathode by multimodal techniques under operando conditions, In: Nano Research12(4)pp. 905-910 Tsinghua University Press

Subtle structural changes during electrochemical processes often relate to the degradation of electrode materials. Characterizing the minutevariations in complementary aspects such as crystal structure, chemical bonds, and electron/ion conductivity will give an in-depth understanding on the reaction mechanism of electrode materials, as well as revealing pathways for optimization. Here, vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), a typical cathode material suffering from severe capacity decay during cycling, is characterized by in-situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) and in-situ Raman spectroscopy combined with electrochemical tests. The phase transitions of V2O5 within the 0–1 Li/V ratio are characterized in detail. The V–O and V–V distances became more extended and shrank compared to the original ones after charge/discharge process, respectively. Combined with electrochemical tests, these variations are vital to the crystal structure cracking, which is linked with capacity fading. This work demonstrates that chemical bond changes between the transition metal and oxygen upon cycling serve as the origin of the capacity fading.

Anqi Zhang, Yunlong Zhao, Siheng Sean You, Charles M Lieber (2020)Nanowire probes could drive high-resolution brain-machine interfaces, In: Nano today31100821 Elsevier Ltd

A central challenge in the field of electrophysiology is to achieve intracellular recording of the complex networks of electrogenic cells in tissues. The historical gold-standard of intracellular recording - patch-clamp electrodes - do have limitations in terms of their invasiveness and difficulty to use in large-scale parallel recording. Recent advances in nanowire-based bioelectronics have demonstrated minimally-invasive intracellular interfaces and highly-scalable parallel recording at the network level. Combined with in vivo recording platforms, these advances can enable investigations of dynamics in the brain and drive the development of new brain-machine interfaces with unprecedented resolution and precision.

R. D. I. G Dharmasena, K. D. G. I Jayawardena, Zakaria Saadi, Xuhui Yao, R. M. I Bandara, Yunlong Zhao, S. R. P Silva (2019)Energy Scavenging and Powering E-Skin Functional Devices, In: Proceedings of the IEEE107(10)pp. 2118-2136 IEEE

Electronic skins (e-skins), which can seamlessly adapt and adhere to the body to mimic the functionality of human skin, are a rapidly emerging research area. Such e-skins have the potential to revolutionize artificial prosthetics, robotics, human-machine interfacing, and health monitoring applications. Powering the e-skin is a critical challenge at present due to strict performance criteria, including flexibility, stretchability, mobility, and autonomous operation. One of the most promising approaches to overcome some of these challenges is to scavenge energy from the human body's movements and its surrounding environment. This paper outlines some of the key potential developments that enable energy harvesting through mechanical, thermal affects, and low light sources, as well as energy management and storage technologies, which could lead toward the construction of autonomous e-skin modules and self-powered sensing systems.

Yunlong Zhao, Siheng Sean You, Anqi Zhang, Jae-Hyun Lee, Jinlin Huang, Charles M. Lieber (2019)Scalable ultrasmall three-dimensional nanowire transistor probes for intracellular recording, In: Nature Nanotechnologypp. 1-10 Nature Research

New tools for intracellular electrophysiology that push the limits of spatiotemporal resolution while reducing invasiveness could provide a deeper understanding of electrogenic cells and their networks in tissues, and push progress towards human–machine interfaces. Although significant advances have been made in developing nanodevices for intracellular probes, current approaches exhibit a trade-off between device scalability and recording amplitude. We address this challenge by combining deterministic shape-controlled nanowire transfer with spatially defined semiconductor-to-metal transformation to realize scalable nanowire field-effect transistor probe arrays with controllable tip geometry and sensor size, which enable recording of up to 100 mV intracellular action potentials from primary neurons. Systematic studies on neurons and cardiomyocytes show that controlling device curvature and sensor size is critical for achieving high-amplitude intracellular recordings. In addition, this device design allows for multiplexed recording from single cells and cell networks and could enable future investigations of dynamics in the brain and other tissues.

Gen He, Ning Hu, Alexander M Xu, Xiangling Li, Yunlong Zhao, Xi Xie (2020)Nanoneedle Platforms: The Many Ways to Pierce the Cell Membrane, In: Advanced functional materials30(21)1909890 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Establishing techniques to efficiently and nondestructively access the intracellular milieu is essential for many biomedical and scientific applications, ranging from drug delivery, to electrical recording, to biochemical detection. Cell penetration using nanoneedle arrays is currently a research focus area because it not only meets the increasing therapeutic demands of cell modifications and genome editing, but also provides an ideal platform for tracking long‐term intracellular information. Although the precise mechanism driving membrane penetration by nanoneedle arrays is still unclear, the low cytotoxicity, wide range of delivered materials, diverse cell type targets, and simple material structures of nanoneedle arrays make these splendid platforms for cell access. Here, the recent progress in this field is reviewed by examining device architectures and discussing mechanisms for nanoneedle penetration, and the major studies demonstrating the most general applicability of nanoneedle arrays, typical methodologies to access the intracellular environment using nanoneedles with spontaneous or assisted penetration modes, as well as biosafety aspects are presented. This review should be valuable for deeply understanding the materials fabrication principles, device designs, cell penetration methodologies, biosafety aspects, and application strategies of nanoneedle array‐based systems that are of crucial importance for the development of future practical biomedical platforms. 1D nanoneedle arrays have emerged as a powerful and multifunctional nanoplatform for cellular manufacturing and interrogation. Here, recent developments in nanoneedle arrays for cellular applications are summarized from the following aspects: device architectures, mechanisms for nanoneedle penetration, typical methodologies to intracellular access using nanoneedles with spontaneous or assisted penetration modes, as well as biosafety.

Yanhui Chu, Siyi Jing, Da Liu, Jinchao Liu, Yunlong Zhao (2019)Morphological control and kinetics in three dimensions for hierarchical nanostructures growth by screw dislocations, In: Acta Materialia162pp. 284-291

The precise control and in-depth understanding of the anisotropic crystal screw dislocation growth could yield further optimization of nanomaterial design and broader applications, yet the studies of rational control and kinetics for more complex nanostructures are still insufficient. In this work, by programming synthesis conditions, we achieve a controllable three-dimensional (3D) screw dislocation growth of hierarchical nanostructures, including nanowires, nanoplates, and previously unreported hierarchical hollow nanobelts, via a facile chemical vapor deposition approach. Notably, the screw dislocation growth in nanobelts is confirmed by the clear observations of the stepwise spiral terraces with initial hexagonal to octagonal shapes and the hollow cores in the growth spiral centers, as well as the fundamental Burton-Cabrera-Frank crystal growth theoretical calculations. The formation of the nanowires and nanoplates can be well interpreted by the previously reported screw dislocation growth model, while a new 3D screw dislocation growth model with considering of transition in growth velocities and directions is proposed to interpret the formation of the nanobelts and other potential complex nanostructures. This study not only enriches our understanding of the screw dislocation growth kinetics but also guides us to achieve the precise morphological design and control in nanosynthesis.

Songge Zhang, Guohua Gao, Jiace Hao, Manman Wang, Han Zhu, Shuanglong Lu, Fang Duan, Weifu Dong, Mingliang Du, Yunlong Zhao (2019)Low-Electronegativity Vanadium Substitution in Cobalt Carbide Induced Enhanced Electron Transfer for Efficient Overall Water Splitting, In: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces11(46)pp. 43261-43269 American Chemical Society

Developing highly efficient electrocatalysts while revealing the active site and reaction mechanism is essential for electrocatalytic water splitting. To overcome the number and location limitations of defects in the electrocatalyst induced by conventional transition-metal atom (e.g. Fe, Co, and Ni) surface doping, we report a facile strategy of substitution with lower electronegative vanadium in the cobalt carbide, leading to larger amounts of defects in the whole lattice. The self-supported and quantitatively substituted VxCo3–xC (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.80) was one-step synthesized in the electrospun carbon nanofibers (CNFs) through the solid-state reaction. Particularly, the V0.28Co2.72C/CNFs exhibit superior hydrogen evolution reaction and oxygen evolution reaction activity and deliver a current density of 10 mA cm–2 at 1.47 V as the alkaline electrolyzer, which is lower than the values for the Pt/C–Ir/C couple (1.60 V). The operando Raman spectra and density functional theory calculations show that the enhanced electron transfer from V to the orbit of the Co atom makes Co a local negative charge center and leads to a significant increase in efficiency for overall water splitting.

Yao Wang, Xufeng Hong, Yaqing Guo, Yunlong Zhao, Xiaobin Liao, Xiong Liu, Qi Li, Liang He, Liqiang Mai (2020)Wearable Textile‐Based Co−Zn Alkaline Microbattery with High Energy Density and Excellent Reliability, In: Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)16(16)2000293 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Wearable in‐plane Zn‐based microbatteries are considered as promising micropower sources for wearable electronics due to their high capacity, low cost, high safety, and easy integration. However, their applications are severely impeded by inadequate energy density arising from unsatisfactory capacity of cathode and poor cycling stability caused by degradation of electrode materials and Zn dendrite. Additionally, the short‐circuit induced safety issue caused by Zn dendrite is still a roadblock for Zn‐based microbatteries. Herein, a textile‐based Co−Zn microbattery with ultrahigh energy density and excellent cycling stability is demonstrated. Benefiting from the fast electron transport of three‐dimensional (3D) porous Ni‐coated textile and synergistic effect from the hierarchical Co(OH)2@NiCo layered double hydroxide (LDH) core−shell electrode, the fabricated Co−Zn microbattery with high flexibility delivers superior energy/power densities of 0.17 mWh cm−2/14.4 mW cm−2, outperforming most reported micro energy storage devices. Besides, the trench‐type configuration as well as the 3D porous Zn@carbon clothes can avoid the short‐circuit‐induced safety issues, resulting in excellent cycling stability (71% after 800 cycles). The unique core−shell structure and novel configuration provide a brand‐new design strategy for high‐performance wearable in‐plane microdevices. A textile‐based Co−Zn microbattery is fabricated based on a hierarchical Co(OH)2@NiCo−LDH core−shell electrode with a trench‐type configuration. Benefiting from the unique core−shell structure, electrochemical kinetics and specific capacity are enhanced. Besides, dendrite‐induced short‐circuit issues are avoided by trench‐type configuration. Hence, the assembled Co−Zn microbattery delivers superior energy/power densities (0.17 mWh cm−2/14.4 mW cm−2) and excellent reliability.

Juyan Zhang, Xuhui Yao, Ravi K Misra, Qiong Cai, Yunlong Zhao (2020)Progress in electrolytes for beyond-lithium-ion batteries, In: Journal of materials science & technology44pp. 237-257 Elsevier Ltd

The constant increase in global energy demand and stricter environmental standards are calling for advanced energy storage technologies that can store electricity from intermittent renewable sources such as wind, solar, and tidal power, to allow the broader implementation of the renewables. The grid-oriented sodium-ion batteries, potassium ion batteries and multivalent ion batteries are cheaper and more sustainable alternatives to Li-ion, although they are still in the early stages of development. Additional optimisation of these battery systems is required, to improve the energy and power density, and to solve the safety issues caused by dendrites growth in anodes. Electrolyte, one of the most critical components in these batteries, could significantly influence the electrochemical performances and operations of batteries. In this review, the definitions and influences of three critical components (salts, solvents, and additives) in electrolytes are discussed. The significant advantages, challenges, recent progress and future optimisation directions of various electrolytes for monovalent and multivalent ions batteries (i.e. organic, ionic liquid and aqueous liquid electrolytes, polymer and inorganic solid electrolytes) are summarised to guide the practical application for grid-oriented batteries.

J Sadhukhan, Y Zhao, M Leach, NP Brandon, N Shah (2010)Energy Integration and Analysis of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Based Microcombined Heat and Power Systems and Other Renewable Systems Using Biomass Waste Derived Syngas, In: INDUSTRIAL & ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY RESEARCH49(22)pp. 11506-11516 AMER CHEMICAL SOC
Qi Li, Zhiquan Hu, Ziang Liu, Yunlong Zhao, Ming Li, Jiashen Meng, Xiaocong Tian, Xiaoming Xu, Liqiang Mai (2018)Recent Advances in Nanowire‐Based, Flexible, Freestanding Electrodes for Energy Storage, In: Chemistry – A European Journal24(69)pp. 18307-18321 Wiley

The rational design of flexible electrodes is essential for achieving high performance in flexible and wearable energy‐storage devices, which are highly desired with fast‐growing demands for flexible electronics. Owing to the one‐dimensional structure, nanowires with continuous electron conduction, ion diffusion channels, and good mechanical properties are particularly favorable for obtaining flexible freestanding electrodes that can realize high energy/power density, while retaining long‐term cycling stability under various mechanical deformations. This Minireview focuses on recent advances in the design, fabrication, and application of nanowire‐based flexible freestanding electrodes with diverse compositions, while highlighting the rational design of nanowire‐based materials for high‐performance flexible electrodes. Existing challenges and future opportunities towards a deeper fundamental understanding and practical applications are also presented.

Zhenhui Liu, Qiang Yu, Yunlong Zhao, Ruhan He, Ming Xu, Shihao Feng, Shidong Li, Liang Zhou, Liqiang Mai (2018)Silicon oxides: a promising family of anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, In: Chemical Society Reviews48(1)pp. 285-309

Silicon oxides have been recognized as a promising family of anode materials for high-energy lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) owing to their abundant reserve, low cost, environmental friendliness, easy synthesis, and high theoretical capacity. However, the extended application of silicon oxides is severely hampered by the intrinsically low conductivity, large volume change, and low initial coulombic efficiency. Significant efforts have been dedicated to tackling these challenges towards practical applications. This Review focuses on the recent advances in the synthesis and lithium storage properties of silicon oxide-based anode materials. To present the progress in a systematic manner, this review is categorized as follows: (i) SiO-based anode materials, (ii) SiO2-based anode materials, (iii) non-stoichiometric SiOx-based anode materials, and (iv) Si–O–C-based anode materials. Finally, future outlook and our personal perspectives on silicon oxide-based anode materials are presented.

Xuhui Yao, Yunlong Zhao, Fernando A. Castro, Liqiang Mai (2019)Rational Design of Preintercalated Electrodes for Rechargeable Batteries, In: ACS Energy Letters4(3)pp. 771-778

Rational design of the morphology and complementary compounding of electrode materials have contributed substantially to improving battery performance, yet the capabilities of conventional electrode materials have remained limited in some key parameters including energy and power density, cycling stability, etc. because of their intrinsic properties, especially the restricted thermodynamics of reactions and the inherent slow diffusion dynamics induced by the crystal structures. In contrast, preintercalation of ions or molecules into the crystal structure with/without further lattice reconstruction could provide fundamental optimizations to overcome these intrinsic limitations. In this Perspective, we discuss the essential optimization mechanisms of preintercalation in improving electronic conductivity and ionic diffusion, inhibiting “lattice breathing” and screening the carrier charge. We also summarize the current challenges in preintercalation and offer insights on future opportunities for the rational design of preintercalation electrodes in next-generation rechargeable batteries.

Yang Liu, Wenwu Wang, Y Zhao (2017)Particle flow for sequential Monte Carlo implementation of probability hypothesis density, In: Proceedings of ICASSP 2017pp. 4371-4375 IEEE

Target tracking is a challenging task and generally no analytical solution is available, especially for the multi-target tracking systems. To address this problem, probability hypothesis density (PHD) filter is used by propagating the PHD instead of the full multi-target posterior. Recently, the particle flow filter based on the log homotopy provides a new way for state estimation. In this paper, we propose a novel sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) implementation for the PHD filter assisted by the particle flow (PF), which is called PF-SMCPHD filter. Experimental results show that our proposed filter has higher accuracy than the SMC-PHD filter and is computationally cheaper than the Gaussian mixture PHD (GM-PHD) filter.