Graduate Students

PhD Students

Yash Joshi

(Institute of Technology, Nirma University)
ChemE PhD: “Graphite/Graphene/Silicon Hybrids for Li-ion Battery Anodes

The current state of art Lithium ion batteries are unable to satisfy the demands for EV applications due to their low energy density. One of the main reasons for this low energy density is the use of Graphite as the anode material which has a limited theoretical capacity. Silicon has been the most promising alternative due its extraordinary theoretical capacity. However, Silicon anode undergoes enormous volume expansion resulting in severe capacity decay. Thus, mitigation of this volume expansion has been a stumbling block for its commercialization. My research focusses on engineering void spaces for the effective accommodation of silicon volume expansion. I also carry out in-situ volume expansion measurements via dilatometer to quantify the reduction in volume expansion due to the incorporation of these pores. My research goal is to mitigate volume expansion in the more commercial milled silicon microparticles. Experiments and numerical simulations will be both investigated to arrive at a more fundamental understanding of the fracture mechanics involved in the lithiation and delithiation of the silicon anode.

Jasper Qiu

(East China University of Science and Technology)
ChemE PhD: “Mesoscale Modeling for Directed Self-Assembly Process of Block Copolymers

My research is about using molecular dynamic method in simulating the self-assembly (DSA) of polystyrene-poly (methyl methacrylate) diblock copolymers (BCP) directed via chemoepitaxial method. The formed structure can be applied in the manufacturing of micro electronic devices, thus BCP DSA can be an economic and promising alternative for EUV lithography. Some issues in this process are required to be solved such as defectiveness, critical dimension variation and line space variation, which all are my research goals.

Meichun An

(National Taiwan University)
ChemE PhD: “Synergy of Graphene Nanoribbons and Graphene Sheets for High-Rate Li-S Batteries

My research is focusing on the utilization of nanomaterials, like graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), in Li-S batteries. In our previous work, Li-ion batteries with the addition of GNRs, produced by unzipping carbon nanotubes (CNTs), exhibited improved electrochemical performances compared with the batteries with CNTs. Inspired by this achievement, my study deals with the replacement of graphene sheets with GNRs in the cathodes of Li-S batteries. The composition of cathodes has been modified through air-controlled electrospray, to construct a crosslinked network. The two-dimensional structure of GNRs helps build up inter-connected networks, which can increase the electroconductivity, confirmed by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and modify the porosity, indicated through pore size distribution profiles. My research goal is to alleviate the polysulfide shuttle effect and improve the electrochemical performances of Li-S batteries at high C-rates, with the aid of nanomaterials and porous structures. The synthesis of functional GNRs and simulations of Li diffusion could be the next development of my work.

Cecilia Gao

(Georgia Institute of Technology)
ChemE PhD: “High Rate High Loading Li-S Batteries

My research aims at designing high sulfur-loading cathodes of lithium sulfur battery and improving its rate capability and cyclability. As the state-of-art Li-ion battery reaching its theoretical limit, Li-S battery has been recognized as one of the most promising candidates for next-generation cost-efficient energy storage, benefiting from its high gravimetric capacity (5x of Li-ion) and being the 4th abundant element in earth ‘s crust. My research focuses on the most pressing challenges of high sulfur-loading Li-S batteries, including the polysulfide shuttle effect and the low conductivity of discharge products. I will start from the fundamental understanding of transport phenomena, including nucleation and failure mechanism, adsorption and diffusion of polysulfides, etc. Both experiments and numerical simulations will be investigated as a cross-validation. 


Kyle Kersey

(University of Pennsylvania)
ChemE PhD: “Optimization of Tuneable Electrochemical Species and Membrane Architectures for Use in Metal-Free Organic Redox-Flow Batteries

My work focuses on the synthesis and optimization of new electrochemical species, as well as the development of new cost-effective membrane frameworks, for use in organic quinone-based redox-flow battery (RFB) systems. With the rising demand for energy and the shift toward renewable forms of generation, the issue of reliable, energy-dense forms for storage is becoming increasingly important. RFBs offer a unique response to this demand, yet existing organic-based systems are faced with very low energy densities and high costs per kilowatt-hour. To address these challenges, I will be using organic synthesis techniques to develop a library of quinone-based cathode molecules and to explore new, electrochemically-stable polymeric membranes for incorporation into RFB cells.

Nicholas Schulman

(The City College of New York)
ChemE PhD: “Synthesis and Fabrication of Exfoliated Graphene from Synthetic vs Natural Graphite Using a Taylor-Couette Flow Reactor

My research focuses on the synthesis and fabrication of few layer graphene (FLG) and expandable graphite (EG) using a Taylor-Couette reactor (TCR). My work is based on the dissertation work of previous graduate student, Mohammed AlAmer, who initially developed the TCR in our laboratory and explored the synthesis of FLG, EG and graphene oxide (GO). The graphenic products from the TCR are used in various applications in our laboratory ranging from Li-ion batteries, Heat Dissipation, EMI Shielding and Graphene Fiber. Currently, my work explores the use of FLG and EG in synthesis of graphene fiber via wet spinning to explore thermal switching behavior of electrical conductivity of the graphene fibers. Additionally, under a partnership with Saudi Aramco, I will be exploring the synthesis of graphenic products from synthetic vs natural graphite sources and comparing their behavior in several applications.

Chia-Yi Lin

(National Taiwan University)
ChemE PhD: Motionless 3D Printing

My research focuses on melt electrospinning and motionless 3D printing. Nowadays, people usually use polymer solutions in electrospinning. The solvents which are used to dissolve the polymer may have toxicity. Therefore, I try to use polymer melt in electrospinning to avoid solvent problems so that I can utilize this technique for biomaterials. In addition, I will apply this technique to do 3D printing as well. The advantages of 3D printing using melt electrospinning are fast print speed, high-resolution fibers, no solvent effect, and no noise. In this way, I can produce high-resolution products, such as electronic components and chips by 3D printing. Besides the experiment, I will use discretized modeling to simulate the melt electrospinning process.

June-Yo Chen

(National Tsing Hua University)
ChemE PhD: “Mesoscale Modeling of Block-copolymer Directed Self Assembly

My research focuses on the molecular dynamic (MD) simulation. I used the LAMMPS to simulate the reaction between different block-copolymers (BCP) on the semiconductor chips. In Brief, I used the self-assembled PS and PMMA BCP to form the contact hole structure. With different ratios between BCP and various substrates, I can create the specific structures for semiconductor chips. In this way, we are studying a potential field for the lithography process in the semiconductor field.  


Vaidik R. Shah

ChemE PhD: “Integration of Gel-Electrolyte component in Li-S batteries”


MS Students

Yiqi Shao

ChemE MS: “Conductive Membrane Coatings and Carbon Electrodes Modification for Metal-free Quinone-Based Redox Flow Batteries”

Anurag Holani

ChemE MS: “Mesoscale modeling of directed self-assembly of block copolymers for lithography process”

Shreyans Gadiya

ChemE MS: “Polymer/Ceramic Hybrid Separators for High-Rate Lithium Ion Batteries”

Sweety Khatri

ChemE MS: “Coating of Polymer/Ceramic Hybrid Separators for Li-S Batteries”

Ziang Gao

ChemE MS: “Hybridization of Li metal and Graphene for Li Metal Batteries”

MEng Students

Chen-Hua Wang

ChemE Meng: “3D electrode design based on silicon/graphene anode and hybrid separator”

Chun-Yu Chou

ChemE Meng: “Development and Design of Novel Polymer/Ceramic Separators Li-ion Batteries”

Hanshen Li

ChemE Meng: “Directly Deposited Si/graphene hybrids for LIB Anode”

Kumar Ityalam

ChemE Meng: “Modification of membrane for Redox flow batteries”

Nidhi Nitin Maniar

ChemE Meng: “Integration of Si/rGO in Li-ion battery anode”