Electrochemical Energy Storage
Yang Shao-Horn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Shao-Horn’s research concerns the science and engineering of electrochemical energy conversion and storage. Direct conversion from electrical to chemical energy in electrochemical devices allows the storage of electrical work in chemical bonds such as hydrogen molecules and metals such as lithium. A major challenge that limits the practical use of electrochemical energy technologies in transportation and stationary power is that the gravimetric energy are too low and the costs are too high. Her research activities are centered on addressing basic energy sciences to enable oxygen-based reduction and oxidation to provide high-energy electrochemical energy storage. Unfortunately the electrocatalysis of oxygen limits the energy efficiency and the practical use of these technologies. Her recent work is focused on the following two areas. First, efforts are focused on fundamental understanding of catalytic reaction mechanisms on the molecular level and uncovering design principles that govern the activities of associated with oxygen electrocatalysis. Second, fundamental understanding is applied to design highly active surfaces and nanostructures to enable high-energy and efficient storage technologies.

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