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Chen Liao



Research Interests

• Electrolyte and electrode developments for rechargeable lithium ion batteries and multivalent ion batteries

• Syntheses and materials characterization of other energy storage systems


Dec 2013 – Present       Staff Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

Nov 2010 – Oct 2013    Postdoctoral Appointee, Oak Ridge National Lab

Jun 2008 – Nov 2010    Postdoctoral Appointee, University of Florida, Department of Chemistry

Professional Preparation

Nov 2018        Executive Education, University of Chicago Booth Business School

May 2008        Ph.D., Physical Organic Chemistry, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

July 2002         B.S., Polymer Sciences and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Publications relevant for proposal (50+ publications in professional journals, 4 US Patents, corresponding author in *):

  1. KL Hawthorne, C Liao, KC Lau, DL Proffit, JT Vaughey, Magnesium-Ion Cathode Materials Based on the Barite Structure, ECS Transactions 85 (13), 193-197, 2018
  2. Hanh et al, Enhanced Stability of the Carba-closo-dodecaborate Anion for High-Voltage Battery Electrolytes through Rational Design, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2018
  3. Hu et al, The existence of optimal molecular weight for poly(acrylic acid) binders in silicon/graphite composite anode for lithium-ion batteries, Journal of Power Sources, 2018
  4. Huang et al, Substituted thiadiazoles as energy-rich anolytes for nonaqueous redox flow cells, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2018
  5. Peebles et al Chemical Pickling” of Phosphite Additives Mitigates Impedance Rise in Li Ion Batteries, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2018
  6. Sahore, Methodology for understanding interactions between electrolyte additives and cathodes: a case of the tris(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl)phosphite additive, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2018
  7. Zhang, J.J, Yang, Z.,  Shkrob, I. A.,  Assary, R., Tung, S., Silcox, B., Duan, W., Zhang, J., Su, C., Hu, B., Pan, B., Liao, C. Zhang, Z., Wang, W., Curtiss, L., Thompson, L, Wei, X.L.* and Zhang, L.*“Annulated Dialkoxybenzenes as Catholyte Materials for Nonaqueous Redox FlowBatteries: Achieving High Chemical Stability through Bicyclic Substitution”, Advanced Energy Materials,
  8. Peebles, C.,* R. Sahore, J. A. Gilbert, J. C. Garcia, A. Tornheim, J. Bareño, H. Iddir, C. Liao* and D. P. Abraham* (2017). Tris(trimethylsilyl) Phosphite (TMSPi) and Triethyl Phosphite (TEPi) as Electrolyte Additives for Lithium Ion Batteries: Mechanistic Insights into Differences during LiNi0.5Mn0.3Co0.2O2-Graphite Full Cell Cycling.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 164(7): A1579-A1586.
  9. Bonnick, P., X. Sun, K.-C. Lau, C. Liao and L. F. Nazar (2017). Monovalent vs Divalent Cation Diffusion in Thiospinel Ti2S4.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
  10. Peebles, C., M. He, Z. Feng, C.-C. Su, L. Zeng, M. J. Bedzyk, P. Fenter, Y. Wang, Z. Zhang and C. Liao* (2017). Investigation of Glutaric Anhydride as an Electrolyte Additive for Graphite/LiNi0. 5Mn0. 3Co0. 2O2 Full Cells.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 164(2): A173-A179.
  11. Pan, B., K.-C. Lau, J. T. Vaughey, L. Zhang, Z. Zhang and C. Liao* (2017). Ionic Liquid as an Effective Additive for Rechargeable Magnesium Batteries.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 164(4): A902-A906.
  12. Duan, W., Huang, J.H., Jeffrey A Kowalski, Ilya A Shkrob, M Vijayakumar, Eric Walter, Baofei Pan, Zheng Yang, Jarrod D Milshtein, Bin Li, C Liao, Zhengcheng Zhang, Wei Wang, Jun Liu, Jeffrey S Moore, Fikile R Brushett, Lu Zhang, Xiaoliang Wei (2017). ““Wine-Dark Sea” in An Organic Flow Battery: Storing Negative Charge in 2, 1, 3-Benzothiadiazole Radicals Leads to Improved Cyclability.” ACS Energy Letters.
  13. Su, C. C., M. He, P. Redfern, L. A. Curtiss, C. Liao, L. Zhang, A. K. Burrell and Z. Zhang (2016). Alkyl Substitution Effect on Oxidation Stability of Sulfone?Based Electrolytes.” ChemElectroChem(3): 790 -797
  14. Sa, N., B. Pan, A. Saha-Shah, A. A. Hubaud, J. T. Vaughey, L. A. Baker, C. Liao and A. K. Burrell (2016). Role of Chloride for a Simple, Non-Grignard Mg Electrolyte in Ether-Based Solvents.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8(25): 16002-16008.
  15. Proffit, D. L., T. T. Fister, S. Kim, B. Pan, C. Liao and J. T. Vaughey (2016). Utilization of Ca K-Edge X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure to Identify Intercalation in Potential Multivalent Battery Materials.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 163(13): A2508-A2514.
  16. Pan, B., D. Zhou, J. Huang, L. Zhang, A. K. Burrell, J. T. Vaughey, Z. Zhang and C. Liao* (2016). 2, 5-Dimethoxy-1, 4-Benzoquinone (DMBQ) as Organic Cathode for Rechargeable Magnesium-Ion Batteries.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 163(3): A580-A583.
  17. Pan, B., J. Huang, N. Sa, S. M. Brombosz, J. T. Vaughey, L. Zhang, A. K. Burrell, Z. Zhang and C. Liao* (2016). MgCl2: The Key Ingredient to Improve Chloride Containing Electrolytes for Rechargeable Magnesium-Ion Batteries.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 163(8): A1672-A1677.
  18. Pan, B., J. Huang, M. He, S. M. Brombosz, J. T. Vaughey, L. Zhang, A. K. Burrell, Z. Zhang and C. Liao* (2016). The Role of MgCl2 as a Lewis Base in ROMgCl-MgCl2 Electrolytes for Magnesium?Ion Batteries.” ChemSusChem.
  19. Pan, B., J. Huang, Z. Feng, L. Zeng, M. He, L. Zhang, J. T. Vaughey, M. Bedzyk, P. Fenter, Z. Zhang, A. K. Burrell and C. Liao* (2016). Polyanthraquinone-based Organic Cathode for High-performance Rechargeable Magnesium-ion Batteries.” Advanced Energy Materials.: DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201600140.
  20. Pan, B., Z. Feng, N. Sa, S.-D. Han, Q. Ma, P. Fenter, J. T. Vaughey, Z. Zhang and C. Liao* (2016). Advanced hybrid battery with a magnesium metal anode and a spinel LiMn2O4 cathode.” Chemical Communications 52(64): 9961-9964.
  21. Lipson, A. L., S.-D. Han, B. Pan, K. A. See, A. A. Gewirth, C. Liao, J. T. Vaughey and B. J. Ingram (2016). Practical Stability Limits of Magnesium Electrolytes.” Journal of The Electrochemical Society 163(10): A2253-A2257.
  22. Lipson, A. L., S.-D. Han, S. Kim, B. Pan, N. Sa, C. Liao, T. T. Fister, A. K. Burrell, J. T. Vaughey and B. J. Ingram (2016). Nickel hexacyanoferrate, a versatile intercalation host for divalent ions from nonaqueous electrolytes.” Journal of Power Sources 325: 646-652.
  23. Huang, J., B. Pan, W. Duan, X. Wei, R. S. Assary, L. Su, F. R. Brushett, L. Cheng, C. Liao, M. S. Ferrandon, W. Wang, Z. Zhang, A. K. Burrell, L. A. Curtiss, I. A. Shkrob, J. S. Moore and L. Zhang (2016). The lightest organic radical cation for charge storage in redox flow batteries.” Scientific Reports 6: 32102.
  24. He, M., C.-C. Su, C. Peebles, Z. Feng, J. G. Connell, C. Liao, Y. Wang, I. A. Shkrob and Z. Zhang (2016). Mechanistic Insight in the Function of Phosphite Additives for Protection of LiNi0.5Co0.2Mn0.3O2 Cathode in High Voltage Li-Ion Cells.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8(18): 11450-11458.
  25. Han, S.-D., N. N. Rajput, X. Qu, B. Pan, M. He, M. S. Ferrandon, C. Liao, K. A. Persson and A. K. Burrell (2016). Origin of Electrochemical, Structural, and Transport Properties in Nonaqueous Zinc Electrolytes.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8(5): 3021-3031.
  26. Formation of MgO during Chemical Magnesiation of Mg-Ion Battery Materials”, Hao Wang, Premkumar Senguttuvan, Danielle L Proffit, Baofei Pan, Chen Liao, Anthony K Burrell, John T Vaughey, Baris Key,  ECS Electrochemistry Letters 4 (8), A90-A93
  27. Current Collector Corrosion in Ca-Ion Batteries”, Albert L Lipson, Danielle L Proffit, Baofei Pan, Timothy T Fister, Chen Liao, Anthony K Burrell, John T Vaughey, Brian J Ingram, (2015) Journal of The Electrochemical Society 162 (8), A1574-A1578
  28. A Lewis acid-free and phenolate-based magnesium electrolyte for rechargeable magnesium batteries”, Baofei Pan, Junjie Zhang, Jinhua Huang, John T Vaughey, Lu Zhang, Sang-Don Han, Anthony K Burrell, Zhengcheng Zhang, Chen Liao,*(2015)  Chemical Communications 51 (28), 6214-6217
  29. 1, 4-Bis (trimethylsilyl)-2, 5-dimethoxybenzene: a novel redox shuttle additive for overcharge protection in lithium-ion batteries that doubles as a mechanistic chemical probe”, Jinhua Huang, Ilya A Shkrob, Peiqi Wang, Lei Cheng, Baofei Pan, Meinan He, Chen Liao, Zhengcheng Zhang, Larry A Curtiss, Lu Zhang, (2015) Journal of Materials Chemistry A 3 (14), 7332-7337
  30. The unexpected discovery of the Mg (HMDS) 2/MgCl 2 complex as a magnesium electrolyte for rechargeable magnesium batteries”, Chen Liao,* Niya Sa, Baris Key, Anthony K Burrell, Lei Cheng, Larry A Curtiss, John T Vaughey, Jung-Je Woo, Libo Hu, Baofei Pan, Zhengcheng Zhang, (2015) Journal of Materials Chemistry A 3 (11), 6082-6087
  31. Synergistic Effects of Mixing Sulfone and Ionic Liquid as Safe Electrolytes for Lithium Sulfur Batteries”, Chen Liao,* Bingkun Guo, Xiao-Guang Sun, Sheng Dai, ChemSusChem (2015) 8 (2), 353-360
  32. Incorvati, J. T., L. F. Wan, B. Key, D. Zhou, C. Liao, L. Fuoco, M. Holland, H. Wang, D. Prendergast and K. R. Poeppelmeier (2015). Reversible Magnesium Intercalation into a Layered Oxyfluoride Cathode.” Chemistry of Materials 28(1): 17-20.
  33. Ambient Lithium-SO2 Batteries with Ionic Liquids as Electrolytes.” Huabin Xing, Chen Liao, Yang, Q., Veith, G. M., Guo, B., Sun, X.-G., Ren, Q., Hu, Y.-S. and Dai, S. (2014), Angewwandte. Chemie. 2014, 126 (8), 2131-2135
  34. Synthesis, Characterization, Photophysics and Photochemistry of Pyrylogen Electron Transfer Sensitizers”, Edward Clennan, Chen Liao, Photochemistry and Photophysics, 2013, doi: 10.1111/php.12174
  35. Highly Soluble Alkoxide Based Magnesium Electrolyte for Rechargeable Magnesium Battery”, Chen Liao* (Corresponding author), Bingkun Guo1, Shannon M. Mahurin, Radu Custelcean, and Xiao-Guang Sun*,Sheng Dai*, Journal of Materials Chemistry, A, 2013, 2014,2, 581-584
  36. Synthesis and Characterization of Lithium Bis(fluoromalonato)borate for Lithium-ion Battery Application “, Chen Liao, Kee Sung Han, Baggetto, Loic, Radu Custelcean, Daniel A. Hillesheim, Eungsung Lee, Bingkun, Guo, Zhonghe Bi, Paranthaman Mariappan, Deen Jiang, Veight Gabriel, Edward Hagaman, Manthiram Arumugam, Gilbert M. Brown, Sheng Dai, and Xiao-Guang Sun, Advanced Energy Materials, 2014, 4, 1301368
  37. Bis(fluoromalonato)borate (BFMB) Anion Based Ionic Liquid As an Additive for Lithium-ion Batteries”, Xiao-Guang Sun, Chen Liao, Loic Baggetto, Bingkun Guo, Ray Unicic, Gabriel Veith, Sheng Dai, Chemical Communications, J. Mater. Chem. A 2 (20), 7606-7614
  38. Nitrogen-enriched carbons from alkali salts with high coulombic efficiency for energy storage applications “, Bingkun Guo, Xiao-Guang Sun, Gabriel M. Veith, Zhonghe Bi, Shannon M. Mahurin, Chen Liao, Mariappan Parans Paranthaman, Sheng Dai, Advanced Energy Materials, 2013, 3(6), 708-712
  39. Facile Synthesis of Poly(ionic liquid) as a Novel Carbon Source”, Chen Liao, Rui Liu, Xisen Hou, Xiao-guang Sun, and Sheng Dai, New Carbon Materials, New Carbon Materials 29 (1), 78-80
  40. Bicyclic imidazolium ionic liquids as potential electrolytes for rechargeable lithium ion batteries”, Xiao-Guang Sun, Chen Liao, Nan Shao, Jason Bell, Huimin Luo, De-en Jiang, and Sheng Dai, 2012, Journal of Power Sources, 2013,  237, 5-12
  41. Polymer gel electrolytes consisting of polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate and ionic liquid for lithium battery  applications”, Chen Liao, Xiao-Guang Sun, and Sheng Dai, 2012, Electrochimica Acta, 2013, 87, 889-894
  42. Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of the Capacitive Performance of a Binary Mixture of Ionic Liquids near an Onion-like Carbon Electrode”, Song Li, Guang Feng, Pasquale F. Fulvio, Patrick, C. Hillesheim, Chen Liao, Sheng Dai, and Peter T. Cummings, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2012, 3, 2465?2469
  43.  Conductive surface modification of LiFePO4 with nitrogen doped carbon layers for lithium-ion batteries”, Sukeun Yoon, Chen Liao, Xiao-Guang Sun, Zhonghe Bi, Craig A. Bridges, Raymond R. Unocic, Jagjit Nand, Sheng Dai, and M. Parans Paranthaman, Journal of Materials Chemistry. 2012, 22, 4611-4614.
  44. Physicochemical Properties of Imidazolium-derived Ionic Liquids with Different C-2 Substitutions”, Chen Liao, Nan Shao, Kee Sung Han, Xiao-Guang Sun, De-En Jiang, Edward W. Hagaman, and Sheng Dai, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2011, 13, 21503-21510.
  45. Synthesis of New C-2 Substituted Imidazolium Based Ionic Liquids”, Chen Liao, Xiao-guang Sun, Sheng Dai, Tetrahedron Letters, 2011,  52 (41), 5306-5310
  46.  Organoplatinum Chromophores for Application in High-Performance Nonlinear Absorption Materials”, Chen Liao, Abigail Shelton, Kye-Young Kim, Kirk S. Schanze, Review, Spotlight on Application for ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2011, 3 (9), 3225-3238.
  47. Photoinduced Charge Separation in Platinum Acetylide Oligomers”, Chen Liao, James E. Yarnell, Ksenija D Glusac, and Kirk S. Schanze, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2010, 114(45), 14763-14771.
  48. Role of Sulfide Radical Cations in Electron Transfer Promoted Molecular Oxygenations at Sulfur.”, Edward L. Clennan, Chen Liao, Journal of American Chemical Society, 2008, 130(12), 4057-4068.
  49. Photooxygenation of 1,5-Thiaselenocane”, Chen Liao, Eric Block, Edward L. Clennan, Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2008,  73(21),  8587-8590.
  50. Pyrylogens: Synthesis, Structural, Electrochemical, and Photophysical Characterization of a New Class of Electron Transfer Sensitizers”, Edward L. Clennan, Chen Liao, Journal of  American Chemical Society, 2008,  130(24),  7552-7553.
  51. Experimental and Computational Studies of Nuclear Substituted 1,1′-Dimethyl-2,2′-Bipyridinium Tetrafluoroborates.” Doug Zhang, João P. Telo, Chen Liao, Sean E. Hightower, Edward L. Clennan, Journal of Physical Chemistry. A., 2007, 111, 13567-13574.
  52. The Hydroperoxy Sulfonium Ylide. An Aberration or a Ubiquitous Intermediate?” Edward L. Clennan, Chen Liao, Tetrahedron, 2006, 62, 10724-10728.“Organic Chemistry of Singlet Oxygen” symposium.


  2. AK Burrell, N Sa, DL Proffit, A Lipson, C Liao, JT Vaughey, BJ Ingram, , Electrolytes for magnesium electrochemical cells, US Patent App. 14/690,961
  3. S Dai, XG Sun, C Liao, B Guo, Alkoxide-based magnesium electrolyte compositions for magnesium batteries, US Patent App. 13/974,566
  4. XG Sun, S Dai, C Liao,  Electrolyte compositions for lithium ion batteries, US Patent App. 13/657,304

Collaborators for past four years

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Northwestern University,  Sandia National Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, University of California, Berkeley


Postdoc Students:        Baofei Pan, PhD from Brandeis University, June 2014-June 2016

                                    Cameron Peebles, PhD from University of Texas Austin, June 2015-August 2017

                                    Ka-Cheong Lau, PhD from University of Chicago, July 2016-Feb 2019

                                    Kewei Liu, PhD from University of Akron, Jan 2019-present

                                    Jianzhong Yang, PhD from University of New Mexico, Oct 2018-Present

Graduate Student (PhD student Co-supervisor)

            Haotian Zhang, Unviersity of Houston, Sep 2018-present