Ajou News

NEW Prof. Kwak Won-jin and International Team of Researchers Publish Cover Article in Chemical Reviews

  • 2020-09-21
  • 120

A cover image of Chemical Reviews. ©ACS Publications.

An article by a team of international researchers, which included Professor Kwak Won-jin (Department of Chemistry/Department of Energy System Research (Graduate)), was published as the cover article for the July 22 online issue of Chemical Reviews.

The article, for which Prof. Kwak is a principal author, concerns lithium-oxygen batteries, a next-generation secondary battery system garnering attention worldwide. The team of researchers included Prof. Sun Yang-kook of Hanyang University, Korea; Prof. Doron Aurbach of Bar-Ilan University, Israel; Prof. Peter Bruce of the University of Oxford; and Prof. Linda Nazar of Waterloo University, Canada. Chemical Reviews, published by the American Chemical Society (ACS), is the top-ranked journal in the entire field of chemistry.

In the article entitled “Lithium-Oxygen Batteries and Related Systems: Potential, Status, and Future,” Prof. Kwak and his colleagues introduce the findings of their years-long research into the structure of the lithium-oxygen battery, its working mechanism, and related derivative systems. The researchers also discuss the core issues and recent trends in research on the lithium-oxygen battery, and needed practical improvements.

A next-generation secondary battery system capable of utilizing oxygen in the air as fuel, the lithium-oxygen battery holds the potential to surpass the theoretical energy density limit of the lithium ion battery used in electric vehicles. Research has abounded on the topic as a result, but there are also considerable obstacles that compromise its commercial viability, such as its short lifecycle as a side effect of reacting with oxygen, its low energy efficiency due to the inevitable creation and dissolution of byproducts. Innovative solutions to these problems are needed.

Prof. Kwak explains: “It is exceedingly difficult to improve the lithium oxygen battery’s energy efficiency and reversibility to a viable level, as there are a number of complex factors involved,” adding, “But, insofar as the demand for high-energy-density battery systems continues to grow, we should continue rising to the challenge.”

Prof. Kwak will continue his research on the lithium oxygen battery in his new faculty position in the Department of Chemistry at Ajou University, where he was appointed in the spring semester. He has published a number of articles in this year, addressing issues with the lithium oxygen battery and possible solutions.