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Past Fortnightly

Simulation-Informed Design of Electrolytes for Lithium Metal Batteries with Yumin Zhang

July 27, 2021

We are living through an era of two colliding megatrends: an exponential explosion in computing power and an ever-warming climate. How can we harness the power of the former to mitigate the risks of the latter? To get the answer, we need to look no further than to Yumin Zhang, doctoral researcher in Materials Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

In Episode 15 of Aionics Fortnightly, Yumin Zhang will present her influential research in leveraging supercomputers to perform quantum mechanical simulations of organic molecules on the surface of metallic lithium. This work provides some of the first insights into what actually happens when various liquid electrolyte solutions interact with lithium in lithium metal batteries – the highly promising but not-yet-perfected successor to today’s Li-ion batteries. The learnings from Ms. Zhang’s research enabling researchers to more intelligently design and discover new electrolytes, bringing this exciting technology closer to reality.

If successfully designed and commercialized, Li metal batteries would be able to increase the range of today’s electric vehicles severalfold. Their energy density would be high enough to enable fully electric aviation, and may even find applications in renewable energy storage on the grid.

Make sure to tune in to this episode to learn all about the power of quantum simulation to addressing our energy challenges!

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    Guest bio

    Yumin Zhang

    Yumin Zhang

    Doctoral Student, Carnegie Mellon University

    Yumin Zhang is a final-year PhD candidate, a Canadian NSERC fellow, in Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, advised by Prof. Venkat Viswanathan. She also holds B.Eng and Master’s degree in Materials Engineering from McGill University in Canada. Her current research focuses on building a seamless simulation-experimental workflow in partnership with experimentalists to enable accelerated electrolyte design for Lithium metal batteries.

    Co-hosts - Meet our field experts.

    • Austin Sendek

      Austin Sendek

      CEO, Aionics