Global climate change is the defining challenge of the 21st century. It is imperative that we continue to improve energy efficiency and ultimately move to a carbon-neutral energy cycle. Electrochemical materials science plays a central
role in the transitioning into an electron driven energy conversion and storage society.
Our research has two inter-related themes:
1.) To develop low-cost, long-life energy storage systems to enable both a renewable energy-powered electric grid and an electric vehicle-dominated transportation system
2.) To study electrochemical processes that underlie a broad range of sustainability issues, including corrosion, low-grade waste heat utilization, and scalable production of functional nanomaterials
Dr. Ping Liu is a Professor of Nanoengineering and the Director of the Sustainable Power and Energy Center at UCSD. Prior to joining the Jacobs School faculty, Professor Liu was a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), where he initiated and managed research programs in energy storage for electric vehicles and thermal management technologies to improve building energy efficiency. He was the manager of the Energy Technology Department at HRL Laboratories (an industrial lab jointly owned by GM and Boeing) and was a research staff member with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Professor Liu received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Fudan University in China. He was a Distinguished Inventor in multiple years at HRL and won an R&D 100 award in 2009 for a battery technology developed at NREL.
Li metal batteries
We hope to improve the cycling life and energy density of Li metal batteries through a multi-faceted approach.
Solid electrolytes are used to minimize side reactions at the electrode surfaces in order to achieve higher power density and cyclability.
Li battery safety
In order for Li metal batteries to make it to market, it is imperative to develop safety mechanisms to protect against cell shorting.
We utilize conversion reactions to synthesize nanomaterials and elucidate the thermodynamics of conversion reactions in batteries.