Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Professor Bin Zhu MSc, PhD

Photo of Professor Bin Zhu

Visiting Professor, Loughborough University, UK

Chief Scientist, Director of Energy Storage Joint Research Center, Southeast University, China


Bin Zhu received his M.Sc., in 1987 from University of Sci. & Tech. of China and PhD in 1995 from Chalmers University of Technology, Physics and Engineering Physics, Sweden and during 10/ 95-12/97 worked as Postdoc. in Uppsala University (in Ångström Lab). Since 1998-2018, Dr. Zhu moved to KTH and in 1999 became senior researcher and associate professor in Dept of Chemical Engineering and Technology, and then in Dept of Energy Technology, KTH. He is visiting professor in Aalto University and Nanyang Technological University as well as in several Chinese universities to co-supervise research projects and PhD students. Since 2018, Zhu has been visiting professor in Loughborough University, UK; since 2019, lecturer professor ( chair) in Xian Jiaotong University and since 2020, chair professor in Southeast University. 

Selected by Hubei Provincial 100-oversea talents program in 2013, currently Zhu is also a distinguished professor for 100-talent teams in Hubei University and China University of Geoscience (Wuhan) in cooperation with EC - China NANOCOFC (Nanocomposites for advanced fuel cells) research network, . Dr. Zhu has more than 300 publications in nano-composites and new functional semiconductor-ionic materials for advanced fuel cells/solar cells from material to device, technology for polygeneration systems, innovations made on low temperature, 300-600°C SOFCs, electrolyte (layer)-free fuel cell (EFFC), new functional semiconductor-ionic materials, single layer fuel cells (SLFCs), semiconductor-based fuel cell (SBFC) as next generation high-efficient fuel-to-electricity conversion highlighted by the latest publication on Science (1). He has also devoted to establish frontier disciplinary of Semiconductor-Ionics for superionic conductors and Semiconductor Electrochemistry for fuel cells and other energy storage devices, e.g. solid batteries.

Zhu has H-index 51 (@ google scholar) and citation above 9400. He is a winner of 2018 WSSET (World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies) Innovation award for Power Generation. Dr. Zhu is one of the Most Cited scholars in China (Energy sector, Elsevier) continuously from 2014-now.

He has also served as guest editor for the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy and for the International Journal of Energy Research special issues.

He is a leading editor for the book “Zhu B., Raza R., Fan L., Sun C.. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: From Electrolyte-based to Electrolyte-free Devices, John Wiley & Sons., 2020, ISBN: 978-3-527-34411-6”

Research interests and activities

  • Solid oxide fuel cell
  • Composite electrolyte
  • ceria-carbonate
  • Electrolyte free fuel cell
  • Single component fuel cell

Abstract overview

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) [1]. 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.

Selected publications

  1. Y. Wu, B. Zhu, M. Huang, L. Liu, Q. Shi, M. Akbar, C. Chen, J. Wei, J. F. Li, L. R. Zheng, J. S. Kim, H. B. Song, Proton transport enabled by a field-induced metallic state in a semiconductor heterostructure. Science, Vol. 369, Issue 6500, pp. 184-188, 2020. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz9139.
  2. Y. Xing, Proton Shuttles in CeO2/ CeO2-δ Core-Shell Structure. ACS Energy Letters, . 4, 2019, 2601-2607. DOI:10.1021/acsenergylett.9b01829
  3. C. Xia et al, Shaping triple-conducting semiconductor BaCo0.4Fe0.4Zr0.1Y0.1O3-δ into an electrolyte for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells, Nature Communications, 2019, 10:1707,
  4. W. Dong et al,  Semiconductor TiO2 thin film as an electrolyte for fuel cells, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, 7, 16728-16734.
  5. B. Wang et al, Fast ionic conduction in semiconductor CeO2-δ electrolyte fuel cells, NPG Asia Materials (2019) 11:51.
  6. G. Chen, et al. Advanced Fuel Cell Based on New Nanocrystalline Structure Gd0.1Ce0.9O2 Electrolyte. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2019, 20; 10642-10650. doi:10.1021/acsami.8b20454 
  7. M. Naveed et al, Tuning Energy Band Structure at Interfaces of SrFe0.75Ti0.25O3-δ -Sm0.25Ce0.75O2-δ Heterostructure for Fast Ionic Conductivity, ACS Applied Materials & Interface, 2019, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11(42),DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b13044.
  8. L. Fan et al, Nanomaterials and technologies for low temperature solid oxide fuel cells: Recent advances, challenges and opportunities, Nano Energy, (2018) 45 148-176.
  9. G. Chen et al, Advanced Fuel Cell Based on Perovskite La-SrTiO3 Semiconductor as the Electrolyte with Superoxide-Ion Conduction, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces , 2018 , 10 (39), 33179–33186.
  10. B. 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.
  11. P. Lund et al, Standardized Procedures Important for Improving Single-Component Ceramic Fuel Cell Technology, ACS Energy Lett. 2017, 2, 2752-2755.
  12. B. Zhu et al, Novel fuel cell with nanocomposite functional layer designed by perovskite solar cell principle, Nano Energy, 19 (2016) 156–164.
  13. Y. Wu et al, Natural hematite for next generation solid oxide fuel cells, Adv. Func. Mat. 26 (2016) 938–942.
  14. C. Xia et al, Natural Mineral-Based Solid Oxide Fuel Cell with Heterogeneous Nanocomposite Derived from Hematite and Rare-Earth Minerals , ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2016, 8 (32), 20748–20755.
  15. B. Wang et al, Preparation and characterization of Sm and Ca co-doped ceria–La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-d semiconductor–ionic composites for electrolyte-layer-free fuel cells, J. Mater. Chem. A,  2016, 4, 15426-15436.
  16. B. Zhu et al, Schottky junction effect on high performance fuel cells based on nanocomposite materials, Adv. Energy Mater. 5 (8) (2015) 1401895.
  17. L. Fan et al, Understanding the electrochemical mechanism of the core-shell Ceria-LiZnO nanocomposite in a low temperature solid oxide fuel cell, J. Mater. Chem. A 2 (2014) 5399-5407.
  18. B. Zhu et al, A new energy conversion technology based on nano-redox and nano-device processes, Nano Energy 2 (2013) 1179-1185.

 Semiconductor-Ionics has been established based on the a revolutionary technology of single layer electrolyte-free fuel cell invention below:

  1.  B. Zhu et al, 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 following news:
    » Nature Nanotechnology | Research Highlights: "Three in One", Nature Nanotechnology, Volume: 6, Page: 330 (2011). doi:10.1038/nnano.2011.89
  2. B. Zhu et al, Fuel cells based on electrolyte and non-electrolyte separators, Energy Environ. Sci. 4 (2011) 2986-2992.
  3. B. Zhu et al, A fuel cell with a single component functioning simultaneously as the electrodes and electrolyte, Electrochem. Commun. 13 (2011) 225-227.
  4. B. Zhu et al, single-component fuel cell reactor. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 36 (2011) 8536-8541.                                       
  5. B. Zhu et al, Single-component and three-component fuel cells, J. Power Sources 196 (2011) 6362-6365.        
  6. B. Zhu et al, Advanced fuel cells: from materials and technologies to applications, Int. J. Energy Res. 35 (2011) 1023-1024.

Google scholar publications list