Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, 2017-10-19

"Microstructural investigation and dynamic properties of novel hydrogen and electrochemical energy storage materials"

Yinzhe Liu / Early Stage Researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK

Working title of thesis

Microstructural investigation and dynamic properties of novel hydrogen and electrochemical energy storage materials.


This project will study the effect of microstructure and composition in novel boron-based hydride materials, on the reactions that take place during hydrogen sorption / electrochemical cycling. The final goal of this project is the identification of suitable materials for hydrogen storage and electrochemical energy storage systems.

Tasks and methodology

This project will synthesize a number of novel borohydride-based materials and composites via mechanochemical processing. Structural and compositional characterization of the selected materials using XRD, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy will be undertaken, along with electron microscopy (SEM and TEM) to understand the morphology. The thermal decomposition mechanisms will be investigated using a combination of TGA and DSC, supplemented with in situ XRD measurements.

The main focus of this project will be the use of ex and in situ Raman spectroscopy to evaluate the synthesized compounds (and materials from ECOSTORE partners) and understand the decomposition and recombination pathways. The interpretation of the obtained spectra will be aided by comparison with the DFT calculated phonon modes (predicted Raman spectra).

Short CV

Yinzhe Liu was born in China and studied in China, United States of America, Belgium and United Kingdom. He received his bachelor degree in Material Chemistry from the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB, 2012) and spent one year at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) as a visiting student and completed his bachelor thesis. He finished his master thesis in imec (Leuven, Belgium) and obtained his master degree in Material Engineering from the KU Leuven (2014). Currently, he has started his Ph.D. research in the field of energy material at the University of Birmingham as part of the ECOSTORE Marie Curie Initial Training Network.