Skip to main content


Photo of Dr Zhenyu Zhang

Dr Zhenyu Zhang

Lecturer in renewable energy



I am a lecturer in renewable energy (energy storage) at the University of Exeter. Before joining the University of Exeter in Jan 2023, I worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in Faraday Institution at University College London since 2018. I obtained PhD degree in Materials Science in 2016, from City University of Hong Kong.

Research interests:

My research is based on the interdisciplinary study of physics, chemistry, materials and energy engineering. The research areas of interest include:

  • Degradation mechanism study of electrode/electrolyte bulk materials and interfaces in batteries, by various in situ/ex situ microscopy, spectroscopy and electrochemical methods.
  • Synthesis, characterization and practical application of solid state electrolytes for all-solid-state batteries.
  • Graphene materials and their application in electrochemical energy conversion, such as hydrogen evolution and redox flow batteries.
  • Inorganic nanomaterials and their energy conversion and storage applications, such as lithium/beyond lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors and electrochemical catalysis.

Teaching: ENE1003 Science for Energy Engineering (Module convenor)

                      ENE3007 Energy Storage Technology

                      ENEM105 Low Carbon Vehicles and transport

                      ENE3011 Renewable Energy Dissertation

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry

Associate fellow of Higher Education of Academy.

Associate editor for Electrochemistry of the journal Frontiers in Chemistry.


Google scholar


Back to top


Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 |















Back to top

Further information

Research Topics

  • All-solid-state batteries:

Synthesis, characterization, and practical application of solid-state electrolytes, such as ceramic, polymer/salt and composite materials (with additives). By adopting lithium metal anode (or anode-free), the energy density of lithium-ion batteries could be significantly improved. Electrochemical analysis and characterization methods are combined to evaluate the properties of electrolytes. Meanwhile, novel synthesis methods are developed to lower the cost and enable large scale fabrication.

ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 2019, 2, 7438;

J. Power Sources, 2019, 435, 226736.

  • In situ electrochemical characterization methods:

Degradation mechanism study of electrode/electrolyte bulk materials and interfaces in batteries during electrochemical operation, by various in situ/ex situ microscopy (e.g., atomic force microscopy), spectroscopy (e.g., Raman) and electrochemical methods (e.g., electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance, electrochemical impedance spectrum). The structural, chemical, electrical, mechanical properties of the interface between electrode and electrolyte (with additives and transition metal ion contaminates) are analysed during the electrochemical reactions.

Adv. Energy Mater., 2021, 2101518;

ACS Appl. Mater. & Interfaces, 2020, 12, 35132.

  • Inorganic nanomaterials and electrochemical energy storage:

As lithium/sodium-ion battery electrodes, the nano/micro-structure of materials significantly impacts their electrochemical performance. By using advanced in-situ/ex-situ electron microscope, the structural and chemical evolution of the materials are studied. By employing various synthesis such as chemical vapor deposition, hydrothermal and sintering, the nano/micro-structures of the electrode materials can be optimised.

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 20527;;

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 6990;

Energy Storage Mater., 2018, 15, 65.

  • Vertically aligned graphene arrays:

3D vertical graphene array on various substrates is synthesized by plasma enhanced chemical vaper deposition. These structures perform excellent properties and serve as perfect electrochemical catalysts for all vanadium redox flow battery electrode and hydrogen evolution reaction electrode (decorated with 2D MoS2 nanosheets).

Nano Energy, 2015, 18, 196;

Adv. Energy Mater., 2017, 1700678;

Adv. Sci., 2016, 3, 1500276.

  • Metal anode for Li/Na/Zn-ion batteries:

Dendrite suppressing by electrolyte modification, surface polishing or interface layer optimization. Characterization via in-situ/operando microscope and X-ray computational tomography.

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2021, 9, 15355;

ACS Energy Lett. 2021, 6, 395;

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2023, acsami.2c19895.

Back to top