Ms. Ju Sun

Ph.D. Candidate

UNSW Sydney

Ms. Ju Sun is currently a research associate in the School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW. Her research interest spreads from the rational design of functional materials to advanced electrochemical energy devices, including metal-sulfur (Li/Na/Mg-S) batteries and metal-ion batteries. As a graduated PhD in 2019, Ju has contributed 1 book chapter, > 5 papers, 1 patent and over 5 international conferences with oral/poster presentations. She has published peer-reviewed journals including Energy & Environmental Science, Energy Storage Materials and Materials Today Energy. Ju has mentored 5 undergraduates/postgraduates, two of whom pursued PhD studies in Cambridge University and City University of Hong Kong.

Rational Design of Materials and Cell Configuration for Metal Sulfur Batteries

The increasing demand for energy and limited availability of fossil fuels trigger the development of renewable resources. However, large scale-up application of renewable energy is inhibited by the inability of storage. High efficient electrical energy storage (EES) becomes one of the tools for utilizing electricity produced from intermittent renewable sources. Despite Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) being the most mature technology in current portable devices, metal-sulfur batteries (MSB) show great promise as the future energy storage device due to the low cost ($0.065/kg) and high theoretical capacity (1675 mAh/g) of sulfur. We start with the well-renowned Li-S batteries by exploring safer Li metal replacement. A parallel interface engineering (PIE) strategy is proposed in the full cell design, and the improvement is attributable to the more efficient and uniform lithium sulfides deposition on the chemically uniform surfaces of the carbon cathode, as well as the suppressed growth of dendritic species on the Li-Al alloy anode with an implantable solid-electrolyte interphase. Research focuses were also put on the studies of Na-S batteries and Mg-S batteries with advanced materials and configurations to alleviate the polysulfides. These strategies provide promising examples for the development of novel post Li-ion batteries in terms of the rational design of materials and cell configurations.