October 25, 2023
Dr. Chuan-Fu Lin

Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor, Chuan-Fu Lin, Ph.D., has been awarded a 3-year grant, totaling $637,641 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science to support his research in developing next-generation energy storage technology and materials.

The demands in energy storage are increasing exponentially, from portable electronics to electric vehicles and smart grids, where the development of high-capacity, high-energy battery materials is critically needed. Conversion materials are known for delivering 3-5 times higher capacity than the current commercial electrode materials, but suffer from poor reversibility.

This research will be conducted at Catholic University’s Energy Materials Innovation Laboratory (EMI-Lab) and will focus on the development and synthesis of novel materials for next-generation energy storage and conversion systems and advanced manufacturing. Currently, the team has active research projects on developing solid-state batteries, advanced Li-ion/Na-ion batteries, and thin film development and processing.

The goal of this research is to apply novel interfacial engineering to the low-cost, eco-friendly conversion materials, in order to kinetically suppress the irreversible processes and promote reversibility. Through enabling the reversibility of conversion cathodes—such as iron fluoride—batteries can reach the long-waiting energy density goal of 500 Wh/kg, increasing the duration of energy output. Dr. Lin says that, “Instead of an EV range of 250 miles per charge, we can aim for a range of 500-700 miles per charge when we successfully enable reversible conversion cathodes into the EV batteries.” This would be a significant achievement for sustainable vehicles and sustainable energy technology in general, especially as the demands for this type of technology increase. 

Dr. Lin says that, “There is still lots of science left to be discovered regarding how interfacial engineering and kinetics play a role in the conversion processes, and thus enhance the reversibility. We are glad to have received DOE’s support for unveiling the underlying science involved while pursuing advanced battery technology discovery.”

For more information on Dr. Chuan-Fu Lin’s research please visit the following websites: