The Materials Virtual Lab is pleased to announce two newly minted PhD graduates – Dr Zhuoying Zhu and Dr Chen Zheng! Congratulations on their successful PhD thesis defense! Both Zhuoying and Chen joined the group in 2014. They have taken radically different, but equally fruitful research paths over the course of their PhD career. Zhuoying’s thesis work is on superionic conductors solid electrolytes for all-solid-state rechargeable alkali-ion batteries. Using computational methods, she has successfully predicted completely novel lithium and sodium superionic conductors with superior ionic conductivity and electrochemical stability, several of which have already been realized experimentally. Her work showcases how first principles computations, combined with the application of thermodynamics and kinetics, can help accelerate materials optimization and discovery for technological applications. Chen’s thesis is focused on the relatively nascent field of machine learning (ML) in materials science. He has developed ML models that can interpret X-ray absorption spectra with accuracies exceeding that of humans, as well as applied graph-based deep learning techniques developed in our group to accelerate the exploration of vast compositional spaces for cathode materials.
In a collaboration with the Xie group from Xiamen, our group is pleased to announce yet another novel phosphor discovered via first-principles computations. Sr2AlSi2O6N:Eu2+ has a superbroad emission with a bandwidth of 230 nm, the broadest emission bandwidth ever reported, and has excellent thermal quenching resistance (88% intensity at 150°C). A prototype white LED utilizing only this full-visible-spectrum phosphor exhibits superior color quality (Ra = 97, R9 = 91), outperforming commercial tricolor phosphor-converted LEDs. This work is published in Chemistry of Materials and is co-authored by Shuxing Li of the Xie group with Materials Virtual Lab alumnus Zhenbin Wang.