Professor Bin Zhu MSc, PhD
Bin Zhu received his M.Sc., in 1987 from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and PhD in 1995 from Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers), Physics and Engineering Physics, Sweden. During 10/ 95-12/97 worked as Postdoc. in Uppsala University (in Ångström Lab). Since 1998, Dr. Zhu moved to Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and in 1999 became associate professor in Dept of Chemical Engineering and Technology, then in Dept of Energy Technology, KTH. He is visiting professor in Aalto University and Nanyang Technological University as well as guest professor and professor in several Chinese universities to co-supervise research projects and PhD students. From 2018, Zhu has been appointed as a visiting professor position in Loughborough University, UK.
Selected by Hubei Provincial 100-oversea talents program in 2013, established two teams in Hubei University and University of Geoscience for frontier research in new functional composite materials, especially, novel semiconductor-ionic materials for next generation fuel cells: the electrolyte (layer)-free fuel cells and solar cells. He is founder and principle investigator on Semiconductor-Ionics which will be mainly topic of his recent years scientific presentations. He is coordinating EC - China NANOCOFC (Nanocomposites for advanced fuel cells) research network, www.nanocofc.com involving many EU and Chinese universities, institutes as well as industries. Dr. Zhu has about 300 publications in nano-composites and new semiconductor-ionic materials for advanced fuel cells from material to device, technology and scaling up. Innovations made on low temperature, 300-600°C SOFCs, electrolyte (layer)-free fuel cell (EFFC), single layer fuel cells (SLFCs), highlighting breakthroughs for fuel cells and next generation high-efficient fuel-to-electricity conversion.
Zhu has around 300 referred journals’ publications, H-index 42 (@ google scholar) citation over 6000. He is one of the most cited scholars in China (Energy sector) for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 published by Elsevier. Dr. Zhu chairs and supervises research teams more than 30 members, around ten associate professors,/lectures, a number of postdocts and more than 10 PhD students.
- PhD 1995 Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
- One of the Hubei 100 oversea talents (2013-now)
- Chair Professor in China University of Geoscience and Hubei Unviersity
- One of the Most Cited scholars in China (Energy sector)
Research interests and activities
- Solid oxide fuel cell
- Composite electrolyte
- Electrolyte free fuel cell
- Single component fuel cell
Research concerns the third revolution of the energy conversion from fuel-electricity power generation. The first revolution on the fuel-to-electricity transition (FET) was made based on Watt (1776)-Siemens (1866) combustion - dynamo power generation. This has created human society over 100-year civilization and industrialization up to now. The 2nd revolution on the FET was invented by Grove (1839), i.e. the electrochemical conversion by fuel cell from the fuel to electricity. The fuel cell was constructed with three components of anode, electrolyte and cathode where the electrolyte plays a key role. But this revolution has still in challenge not yet succeeding in commercialization for society and industry. The third revolutionary invention was reported in 2011 on Electrolyte (layer) -free fuel cell (EFFC) . Today a new scientific disciplinary and technology for FEC by electrochemical-physics have been established based on the EFFC where new advanced Materials: Semiconductor-ionic materials (SIMs) and Semiconductor-Ionics (Semionics) are highlighted. Based on recent years' extensive findings, scientific evidences, new knowledge and understanding, the third Electrochemical-Physical (ElectrochmPhys) route of the FET for power generation is defined, by combining the 2nd invention of the fuel cell advantages of high efficient, low or no emission (in H2 as the fuel) but most importantly low cost and commercial available technologies, Our route is using Physical designs of the fuel-power generation to combine fuel cell advantages. The semiconductor-ionic properties and transport and energy band play a key role.
The electron ion coupling (EIC) effects can cause a great enhancement on ionic conductivity accompanying a significant reduction of the ionic activation energy have been widely discovered in many SIMs and demonstrated EFFCs. This plays a significant importance in next generation SOFC technology, which can, for example, solve the SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) over 100-year materials challenge, e.g. 0.1 S/cm can be reached at 300-600oC to be equal to that of the YSZ (yttrium stabilized zirconia) at 1000oC. Thus with SIMs we guarantee advanced low temperature, 300-600oC SOFCs because the ionic conductivity plays actually a bottleneck on SOFC commercialization by lowering temperatures, no alternative oxide ion conductor can replace YSZ.
Based on new functional SIMs new FET devices designed by Physics, e.g. various junction devices: Bulk heterojunction, Schottky Junction and energy band alignment to realize the fuel cell reactions by removing the conventional fuel cell electrolyte separator also interfaces at the anode/electrolyte and electrolyte/cathode, instead directly by junction aligning energy bands to realize the charge separation to avoid the electronic short circuit and fuel and oxidant redox reactions. It should be pointed out that compared to the fuel cell history this new revolutionary invention is just in the beginning stagy many standardization and improvements are required, it should not be judged only using over 100-year SOFC matured technology. Certainly this new field needs the world resources and efforts as well as serious investments. In order to do so, recently 15 research groups from Europe and Asia universities, and industry have strongly moved to this invention and research based on its great potentials and impacts.
- 1. Zhu, B., Raza, R., Abbas, G. and Singh, M., An Electrolyte-Free Fuel Cell Constructed from One Homogenous Layer with Mixed Conductivity, Adv. Funct. Mater. 21 (2011)2465-2469.
- This work is reviewed and highlighted in Nature Nanotechnol.:
- Nature Nanotechnology | Research Highlights: "Three in One", Nature Nanotechnology, Volume: 6, Page: 330 (2011). doi:10.1038/nnano.2011.89
- 2. Zhu, B., Raza, R., Qin, H., Liu, Q. and Fan, L., Fuel cells based on electrolyte and non-electrolyte separators, Energy Environ. Sci. 4 (2011) 2986-2992.
- 3. Zhu, B., Ma, Y., Wang, X., Raza, R., Qin, H. and Fan, L., A fuel cell with a single component functioning simultaneously as the electrodes and electrolyte, Electrochem. Commun. 13 (2011) 225-227.
- 4. Zhu, B., Qin, H., Raza, R., Liu, Q., Fan, L., Patakangas, J. and Lund, P. A single-component fuel cell reactor. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 36 (2011) 8536-8541.
- 5. Zhu, B., Raza, R., Qin, H. and Fan, L., Single-component and three-component fuel cells, J. Power Sources 196 (2011) 6362-6365.
- 6. Zhu et al, A new energy conversion technology based on nano-redox and nano-device processes, Nano Energy, 2013, 2(6): 1179-1185.
- 7. Zhu et al. Schottky Junction Effect on High Performance Fuel Cells Based on Nanocomposite Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, 2015,5(8), 1401895.
- 8. Zhu et al, Novel fuel cell with nanocomposite functional layer designed by perovskite solar cell principle, Nano Energy, 2016, 19,156-164.
- 9. Zhu et al, Charge separation and transport in La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ and ion-doping ceria heterostructure material for new generation fuel cell, Nano Energy 37 (2017) 195–202.
- 10. Lund, P. and Zhu, B. et al, Standardized Procedures Important for Improving Single-Component Ceramic Fuel Cell Technology, ACS Energy Lett. 2017, 2, 2752-2755.