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All solid-state zinc-air flexible battery by additive manufacturing (HUIOU20SF)

Project Description

Applications are invited to School of Engineering, UEA, for a PhD in the field of additive manufacturing and electrochemistry for energy storage.

High-performance electronics and electric vehicles have accelerated the development of advanced energy storage devices such as metal-air battery [1]. The secondary solid-state flexible zinc-air battery has demonstrated high energy density and better operational safety compared with some rechargeable batteries [2]. However, practical applications of zinc-air battery are still seriously hindered due to the relatively poor performance of the air electrodes, such as sluggish reaction kinetics towards oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and high overpotentials in both ORR and OER and hence low energy efficiency [3].

Considering that wearable electronics have become increasingly pervasive in daily life, the demand for flexible energy storage devices is increasing [4, 5]. This PhD project aims to develop a novel direct-ink-writing technology to fabricate a solid-state flexible zinc-air battery. The PhD candidate will prepare some nano-sized electrode materials with controllable physical, electrical and chemical properties, determine how the properties of the electrode materials enhance the activity towards ORR and OER and evaluate the performances of the solid-state zinc-air battery in terms of specific capacity, rate performance, energy and power densities, and cycle life.

The project may be available at an earlier start point of July 2020 if an applications is submitted at the appropriate time and should be discussed with the primary supervisor in the first instance.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of this project is October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time.

Entry requirements: Acceptable first degree in Chemistry, Engineering (or other related STEM subjects), the standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


1. X. Xu, K.S. Hui, D.A. Dinh , K.N. Hui, H. Wang, "Recent Advances in Hybrid Sodium-Air Batteries," Materials Horizons, 6, pp. 1306-1335, 2019. This article is part of the themed collections: Recent Review Articles and Horizons Community Board Collection – Advanced Energy Storage Technologies
2. Z. Cao, H. Hu, M. Wu, K. Tang, T. Jiang, "Planar all-solid-state rechargeable Zn–air batteries for compact wearable energy storage," Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 7, pp. 17581-17593, 2019.
3. H. Zhao, K.S. Hui, K.N. Hui, “Synthesis of nitrogen-doped multi-layer graphene from milk powder with melamine and their application to fuel cells Carbon, 76, pp.1-9, 2014.
4. Shude Liu, Ying Yin, Dixing Ni, K.S. Hui, Ming Ma, Sewon Park, Kwun Nam Hui, chuying Ouyang, Seong Chan Jun, "New Insight into the Effect of Fluorine Doping and Oxygen Vacancies on Electrochemical Performance of Co2MnO4 for Flexible Quasi-Solid-State Asymmetric Supercapacitors," Energy Storage Materials, 22, pp. 384-396, 2019.
5. S. Wu, K.S. Hui, K.N. Hui, "2D Black Phosphorus: from Preparation to Applications for Electrochemical Energy Storage," Advanced Science, 5, pp. 1700491, 2018.

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