2D vertical heterostructures for multi-functional energy applications

March 31st, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Electrolysis, Advanced manufacturing, Energy systems integration

Lead Organisation:
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)



Start date:
February 2023

Completion date:
February 2027

Key contacts:
Dr Zhaojun Han – zhaojun.han@qut.edu.au

Australian Research Council

Project total cost:

Project summary description:
This project aims to develop new 2D vertical heterostructures based on vertical graphene for multi-functional energy applications. The 2D vertical heterostructures will have a set of structural features that can simultaneously store electrochemical energy in a capacitive manner (i.e., supercapacitor) and produce hydrogen using renewable electricity (i.e., water electrolysis). A new design to mitigate the intermittence of renewable energy sources will also be demonstrated by integrating supercapacitor and water electrolyser into one system.

The project outcomes will include (1) rationally designed 2D vertical heterostructures (Objective 1), (2) new knowledge in charge storage and catalytic mechanisms (Objective 2), and (3) hydrogen generation using intermittent renewables (Objective 3):

Objective 1. Electrode materials – Design and fabricate 2D vertical heterostructure with tailored structure and properties for high-performance supercapacitors and water electrolysis.

Objective 2. Mechanistic investigation – Acquire a deep understanding of ion dynamics in 2D vertical heterostructures by in-situ electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques combined with theoretical calculations and simulations.

Objective 3. System integration – Construct a multi-functional energy system by integrating supercapacitor and water electrolyser to maximize the efficiency of green hydrogen generation.

Related publications and key links:

  1. L. Peng, D. Zhang, Z. Ma, X. Lu, D. Chu, C. Cazorla, R. Amal,* Z. Han,* Enhanced pH-universal hydrogen evolution reactions on the Ru/α-Ni-MoO3 electrocatalysts, Small Struct., 4, 2300194 (2023).
  2. Y. Zhou, P. Guan, F. Chen, Z. Feng, H. Jia, T. Liang, M. Li,* T. Wan,* R. Tian, Z. Han,* D. Chu, Engineering work functions of cobalt-doped manganese oxide based electrocatalysts for highly efficient oxygen evolution reaction, J. Colloid Interface Sci., 642, 23 (2023).
  3. Tsounis, B. Subhash, P. V. Kumar, N. M. Bedford, Y. Zhao, J. Shenoy, Z. Ma, D. Zhang, C. Y. Toe, S. Cheong, R. D. Tilley, X. Lu, L. Dai, Z. Han, R. Amal, Pt single atoms at graphene edges for efficient alkaline hydrogen evolution, Adv. Funct. Mater., 32, 2203067 (2022).
  4. Zhang, J. Fan, X. Lu, Z. Han, C. Cazorla, L. Hu, T. Wu, D. Chu, Bridging NiCo layered double hydroxides and Ni3S2 for bifunctional electrocatalysts: the role of vertical graphene, Chem. Eng. J., 415, 129048 (2021).
  5. Tsounis, X. Lu, N. M. Bedford, B. Subhash, L. Thomsen, Q. Zhang, Z. Ma, K. Ostrikov, A. Bendavid, J. A. Scott, R. Amal, Z. Han, Valence alignment of mixed Ni-Fe hydroxide electrocatalysts through preferential templating on graphene edges for enhanced oxygen evolution, ACS Nano, 14, 11327 (2020).

Higher degree studies supported:
Three PhD students in the Faculty of Engineering, QUT, will be fully supported by this project.


Reviewed: May 2024