Towards Improved Rechargeable Zinc Ion Batteries: Design Strategies for Vanadium-Based Cathodes and Zinc Metal Anodes

  • Jing Guo

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The need for renewable energy is increasing as a result of global warming and other environmental challenges. Renewable energy systems are intermittent in nature and require energy storage solutions. Lithium-ion batteries are the first choice for storing electrical energy due to their high energy density, long cycle life, and small size. However, their widespread use in grid-scale applications is limited by high cost, low lithium resources, and security issues. Among the various options, the rechargeable zinc ion water battery has the advantages of high economic efficiency, high safety, and environmental friendliness, and there are great expectations for energy storage on a network scale. Inspired by these benefits, people have put a lot of effort into developing and manufacturing zinc-based energy storage devices. As the main component of zinc ion battery, the cathode material plays an important role in the storage / release of zinc ions during insertion and extraction. Vanadium-based materials are attracting attention due to their various oxidation states, diverse structures, and abundant natural resources. However, the details of suitable cathode materials and Zn2+ storage mechanism for rechargeable zinc ion battery are not yet fully understood. In this thesis, firstly, the prepared zinc pyrovanadate delivers good zinc ion storage properties owing to its open-framework crystal structure and multiple oxidation states. Mechanistic details of the Zn-storage mechanism in zinc pyrovanadate were also elucidated. Then, a calcium vanadium oxide bronze with expanding cavity size, smaller molecular weight, and higher electrical conductivity are proposed to deeply understand the impact of the crystal structure on battery performance. To improve the stability of the cathode in rechargeable zinc ion battery, an artificial solid electrolyte interphase strategy has been proposed by inducing an ultrathin HfO2 layer via the Atomic layer deposition method, which effectively alleviates the dissolution of active material. Finally, a nitrogen-doped 3D laser scribed graphene with a large surface area and uniform distribution of nucleation sites has been used as the interlayer to control Zn nucleation behavior and suppress Zn dendrite growth, which brings new possibilities for the practical rechargeable zinc ion battery.
Date of AwardDec 21 2021
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorHusam Alshareef (Supervisor)


  • Zinc ion battery
  • aqueous battery
  • vanadium based materials

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