Dr. Ong Wee Jun and Team Publish in Advanced Materials (IF > 25)

2021-05-25

Research Management Center congratulates Ng Sue-Faye (postgraduate student of New Energy Science and Engineering) and Michelle Lau Yu Ling (a recent graduate of Chemical Engineering Programme) on publishing an invited review article in Advanced Materials (latest impact factor 27.398) as co-first authors.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ong Wee Jun (School of Energy and Chemical Engineering) is the corresponding author of this publication.

Titled “Lithium-Sulfur Battery Cathode Design: Tailoring Metal-Based Nanostructure for Robust Polysulfide Adsorption and Catalytic Conversion”, this is an invited contribution to the Special Issue  of Advanced Materials celebratingXiamen University’s Centenary. According to Clarivate Analytics, Advanced Materials ranks 3/103 in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, 5/177 in multidisciplinary chemistry, 4/159 in physical chemistry, 7/314 in materials science and 3/155 in applied physics.  

The article is now accessible online at https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202008654.

With the rising demand for clean energy and portable electronics, the energy densities provided by traditional lithium-ion battery (LIB) (300 mAh g-1) are beginning to reach their threshold limit, thus leading to the search for an alternative environmentally benign energy storage system. Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) is a promising next-generation “beyond Li-ion” battery system due to its high specific energy capacity (1675 mAh g-1), as well as the abundance and inexpensiveness of the elemental sulfur. This article encompasses the fundamental electrochemical principles of Li‐S batteries and the insights into the interactions between the metal‐based compounds and the polysulfides during the charge/discharge cycle, emphasizing the intimate structure–activity relationship corroborated with theoretical calculations. Additionally, the article discusses the integration of conductive carbon‐based materials in order to ameliorate metal‐based compound's existing adsorptive abilities. All in all, these studies underline the future potential and challenges in this field, effectively informing the smart design of catalysts for the future Li-S system. As a whole, this review casts favorable vistas in materials research to explore fascinating metal-based nanomaterials in Li-S batteries to strive for momentous breakthroughs at the forefront of the research platform on energy storage and conversion applications.

It is also worth mentioning that this is the second time that Ng Sue-Faye has published a research paper as the first author. Her first invited article “Engineering Layered Double Hydroxide-Based Photocatalysts Towards Artificial Photosynthesis: State-of-the-Art Progress and Prospects” was published in Solar RRL, a journal with an Impact Factor of 7.527.  

Below are testimonies from the authors:

Ng Sue-Faye, who is currently pursuing her postgraduate study under Dr. Ong’s supervision:

This review began when I was in the 2019 Chemical Engineering Student Exchange Program at XMU China, where Prof. Zheng Nanfeng’s group generously offered their time guiding us on the ins-and-outs of Li-S batteries and enabled me to hone my critical thinking skills and develop my research interests. It has been an honor to publish this article under the supervision of Dr. Ong Wee Jun, who has helped immensely in refining my writing skills and broadening my perspective towards nanomaterials. I would also like to express my gratitude towards Prof. Zheng Nanfeng and Dr. Wu Binghui who allowed us to learn from their research group, especially the experimental elements, at XMU China.”

With a Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) funded by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia, Ng Sue-Faye’s current research combines experimental and computational theory in the design of nanomaterials for photo- and electro-catalytic energy conversion.

Michelle Lau Yu Ling, who has recently graduated from XMUM:

I was placed in Prof. Zheng Nanfeng’s research group during my 3-month research stay at Xiamen University Xiang’an campus. The Master and PhD students in the group were very friendly and helped me gain a deeper understanding of Li-S battery. I am grateful for Dr. Ong’s guidance and encouragement. It is him who gave me this opportunity and allowed me to fully utilize my research stay. My writing, reading and analytical skills were also polished in preparation for my Final Year Project, thanks to Dr. Ong’s patience and guidance. I honed my analytical skills while producing my thesis and conducting the experiments.”

Dr. Ong Wee-Jun, who serves as the Chief Editor and Associate Editor of a number of SCI journals:

“One advice to the young generation of scientists is not to set your goals on titles. The value we should hold the dearest is the passion for self-betterment, with which we should endow our work with a positive impact on the wider community. Research should not be a one-man show, but rather an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to collaborate and make the world a better place. Currently, the two main challenges faced by the young generation are their writing/oral skills and time management. This has been an excellent opportunity for my students to broaden their scientific knowledge while refining their writing technique and developing work ethics. It will be an important asset for their future no matter they choose to pursue further studies or join the workforce.”

NanoECats Research Group: Dr. Ong and his students (Michelle Lau Yu Ling, left, and Ng Sue-Faye, right).

Dr. Ong Wee Jun serves as an Associate Professor at XMUM School of Energy and Chemical Engineering. He has won several prestigious awards, including the Merdeka Award Grant, Young Researcher Award from Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Green Talent Award presented by the German government. He was also named as a “Global Highly Cited Researcher 2019 and 2020” by Clarivate Analytics and “World’s Top 2% Scientists 2020” by Stanford University. Currently, he serves as the Chief Editor of Frontiers in Nanotechnology, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Chemistry, Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology and Engineering Reports (Wiley), Advisory Board of Materials Horizons, Early Career Advisory Board of Langmuir, and Editorial Board of Scientific Reports and Nanotechnology.

Dr. Ong Wee Jun is going to directing an independent research center at XMUM and is currently recruiting postgraduate students for his NanoECats research group. For candidates who are interested, please contact him at weejun.ong@xmu.edu.my. For more information about Dr. Ong Wee Jun and NanoECats Research Group, please refer to the following website: https://sites.google.com/site/wjongresearch/

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