MSE 690 Seminar: Hongli (Julie) Zhu

Event Date: February 2, 2024
Speaker: Dr. Hongli (Julie) Zhu - Associate Professor at Northeastern University
Speaker Affiliation: Northeastern University
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: ARMS 1010
Priority: No
School or Program: Materials Engineering
College Calendar: Show
“Sustainability: From Biodegradable Materials to Sustainable Energy Storage”

Dr. Hongli (Julie) ZhuDr. Hongli (Julie) Zhu— Associate Professor at Northeastern University

Abstract: During the last century, humankind has enjoyed the convenience brought by the invention of petroleum-based plastics and energy derived from fossil fuels, while at the same time dealing with the negative consequences of nondegradable plastic wastes after their service life and global warming. After over a century, humankind and Mother Earth need to rethink this path, leading to an urgency to develop products from nature-derived materials and electrification. In this talk, Dr. Zhu will introduce their efforts on both biodegradable materials and sustainable energy storage.

Nature has provided humankind with abundant biodegradable resources that can be processed into high-performance and multifunctional materials, including cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, chitin, alginate, and silk, among many others. If these biopolymers can be carefully processed, modified, and designed, they can be turned into advanced biodegradable materials with potential applications as structural and engineering products, with utility in environmental remediation, optical devices, electronic substrates, energy harvesting, and storage materials, as well as biomedical devices. Dr. Zhu will summarize their efforts in this direction and cite their most recent work as a detailed example: a biodegradable, cellulose-based photonic gel that forms stable cholesteric liquid crystals, yielding vivid structural colors tunable through temperature, pressure, and stretching. The hydroxypropyl cellulose matrix leverages precise polyethylene glycol end group alignment on its helical structure to maintain a chiral nematic phase. Continuous, rapid, and reversible color transformations occur, making this renewable material a promising candidate for displays, flexible electronics, health monitoring, and sensors.
In the second part of her presentation, she will summarize their efforts in energy storage, majorly including flow batteries for stationary grid storage and all-solid-state batteries. As an example, she will introduce their most recent work in all-solid-state batteries in detail: Revealing Li Dynamics in Mixed Ionic-electronic Conducting Interlayer of All-Solid-state Li-metal Batteries. Nondestructive operando Neutron imaging and Raman spectroscopy reveal mechanochemical reactions inside during cell assembly and mechano electrochemical reactions during battery charge/discharge. This work revealed Li evolution at the Li-graphite||solid electrolyte interface, highlighting the intricate mechano-chemo-electrochemical reactions in mixed conducting interlayers.

Biography: Hongli (Julie) Zhu is currently an associate professor at Northeastern University and program director of the Advanced and Intelligent Manufacturing program. Her research group explores electrochemical energy storage, sustainable biomass materials, and advanced manufacturing techniques. From 2012 to 2015, she focused on nanocellulose, energy storage, and nanopaper electronics at the University of Maryland. From 2009 to 2011, at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, she focused on researching biodegradable and renewable biomaterials from wood. Her expertise includes energy storage, roll-to-roll printing, fabricating and functionalizing biomass materials, and applying renewables materials for sustainability. For energy storage, her group works on solid-state batteries, flow batteries, and alkali metal ion batteries. She has been recognized for achievements in Materials Science by Advanced Materials in 2021 and 2022, and Energy Research by ACS Energy Letters in 2020. She has over 18,545 Google Scholar citations and an H-index of 66. She was selected in Stanford University's Top 2% Scientists Worldwide in 2021, 2022 and 2023. In 2022, she received the Soren Buus Outstanding Research Award. In 2023, she became a Northeastern College of Engineering Faculty Fellow. She serves as editor of Progress in Material Science, director of advanced manufacturing at Northeastern, and is on the Chemical Society Reviews advisory board.


2024-02-02 15:30:00 2024-02-02 16:30:00 America/Indiana/Indianapolis MSE 690 Seminar: Hongli (Julie) Zhu "Sustainability: From Biodegradable Materials to Sustainable Energy Storage" ARMS 1010