Dr. Chen obtained his BS degree in chemistry (honors) from Fuzhou University in China in 1999 and MS degree in physical chemistry (honors) from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, under the guidance of Prof. Minghua Liu in 2002.

After that, he moved to University of Münster in Germany and obtained his PhD degree in biochemistry (Summa Cum Laude) under the direct of Prof. Harald Fuchs and Prof. Lifeng Chi. In 2006, he joined prof. Chad Mirkin's group at Northwestern University as postdoctoral fellow.

Current Research Interests

Currently, Dr. Chen's research focuses on three directions: (1) Nanobioelectronics: to develop integrated nanostructure-biomaterial hybrid systems for bioelectronics and probe biological processes at the nanoscale; (2) Bioinspired assembly: to mimic methods used by nature for interfacing organic and non-organic material and building hierarchical structures with advanced functions, and (3) Nanomaterials for energy conversion and storage: to explore nanoscale modules for light harvesting, charge separation, solar energy conversion, and storage.

Project: High Performance Batteries for Building Application

We will propose to achieve 4 times of current energy density of LIBs by using elongated TiO2 nanotube as backbone to integrate with high capacity transition metal oxide/sulfide or alloy type anode (Si, Sn). This project aims at developing high energy density, fast charging, and long service life energy storage devices for future low carbon building application by using high capacity TiO2 backboned anode with high capacity lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) or lithium rich nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LNMC) cathodes. The fabrication of the batteries will be done by scalable additive manufacturing technologies tailored for the new materials.

On the other hand, we will propose the solution to reduce the cost of the batteries to meet the daily usage of the building electric backup system. Li-S and Na-ion batteries are very attractive because the low cost and abundance of sulfur and sodium. In addition, Li-S battery has much higher energy density and thus it can be highly space-efficient. Our goal is to develop low cost battery technical solutions for buildings’ power backup systems. We aims to achieve a cost range between $60-220/kWh, which will be very competitive in the market.

In addition, we will integrate our batteries with our window/transparent solar cells. Combining with the 3D printing ability of other projects, the highly integrated batteries will be able installed into the window steel frame. Such a design will help us to achieve high space efficiency in buildings.

Selected Publications

Niu, Z.; Zhang, L.; Liu, L.; Zhu, B.; Dong, H.; Chen, X.* “All-Solid-State Flexible Ultrathin Micro-Supercapacitors Based on Graphene” Adv. Mater.2013, 25, doi:10.1002/adma.201301332.

Zhang, L.; Chen, X.* “Nanofluidics for Giant Power Harvesting” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 7640.

Cao, X.; Qi, D.; Yin, S.; Bu, J.; Li, F.; Goh, C. F.; Zhang, S.; Chen, X.* “Ambient Fabrication of Large-area Graphene Films via a Synchronous Reduction and Assembly Strategy” Adv. Mater.2013, 25, 2957.

Yin, S.; Goldovsky, Y.; Herzberg, M.; Liu, L.; Sun, H.; Zhang, Y.; Meng, F.; Cao, X.; Sun, D. D.; Chen, H.; Kushmaro, A.; Chen, X.* “Functional Free-stansding Graphene Honeycomb Films” Adv. Funct. Mater.2013, 23, 2972.

Niu, Z.; Dong, H.; Zhu, B.; Li, J. Hng, H. H.; Zhou, W.;* Chen, X.;* Xie, S. “Highly Stretchable Integrated Supercapacitors Based on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Films with Continuous Reticulate Architecture” Adv. Mater.2013, 25, 1058.

Wu, Y.-L.; Putcha, N.; Ng, K. W.; Leong, D.; Lim, C. T.; Loo, S. C.;* Chen, X.* “Biophysical Responses upon the Interaction of Nanomaterials with Cellular Interfaces” Acc. Chem. Res. 2013, 46, 782.

Niu, Z.; Luan, P.; Shao, Q.; Dong, H,; Li, J.; Chen, J.; Zhao, D.; Cai, L.; Zhou, W.;* Chen, X.;* Xie, S. “A “Skeleton/Skin” Strategy for Preparing Ultrathin Free- Standing Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube/Polyaniline Films for High Performance Supercapacitor Electrodes” Energy Environ. Sci. 2012, 5, 8726.

Meng, F.; Hervault, Y.-M.; Norel, L.; Costuas, K.; Van Dyck, C.;Geskin, V.; Cornil, J.;Hng, H. H.; Rigaut, S.;*Chen, X.*”Photo-modulable Molecular Transport Junctions based on OrganometallicMolecular Wires” Chem. Sci.2012, 3, 3113.

Niu, Z.; Chen, J.; Hng, H. H.; Ma, J.; Chen, X.* “A Leavening Strategy to Prepare Reduced Graphene Oxide Foams” Adv. Mater.2012, 24, 4144-4150.

Jiang, L.; Sun, Y.; Nowak, C.; Kibrom, A.; Zou, C.; Ma, J.; Fuchs, H.; Li, S.;* Chi, L.;* Chen, X.* “Patterning of Plasmonic Nanoparticles into Multiplexed One- Dimensional Arrays Based on Spatially Modulated Electrostatic Potential” ACS Nano 2011, 5, 8288-8294