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Zhengcheng (John) Zhang

Senior Chemist/Group Leader

Dr. Zhengcheng (John) Zhang is a leading scientist in the field of energy storage with over 20 years of experience. He leads Argonne’s research in organic energy material innovation for next-generation lithium-ion batteries and beyond.


Dr. John Zhang is a senior chemist and group leader at Argonne National Laboratory. He leads the research in developing new organic energy materials for next-generation electrochemical energy storage.

His research spans from molecular design, theoretical simulation, organic synthesis, to electrochemical evaluation to address the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of the electrolyte bulk and at the electrode/electrolyte interfaces. Current DOE projects are focused on fluorinated electrolytes for high-voltage and low-temperature lithium-ion, fluorinated deep eutectic solvents for high-voltage lithium metal chemistry, fluorinated ether/fluorinated glyme electrolytes and solid-state electrolytes for high energy density lithium-sulfur battery, surface functionalization for high energy Si anode, and nature inspired organic redoxmers for organic redox flow battery.

Dr. Zhang has won two R&D 100 Awards for organic siloxane-based electrolyte technology in 2005 and advanced organic chemical shuttles for overcharge protection of EV batteries in 2014, and the 2017 R&D 100 Award finalist for his high voltage fluorinated electrolyte technology. He is the editor of Rechargeable Batteries: Materials, Technologies and New Trends” published by Springer, associate editor for Frontiers in Energy Research, associate editor for Advances in Chemistry, and advisory editor for Energy Materials. He is the organizer of 2014 MRS Fall Meeting, Symposium Z -Materials challenges for energy storage across multiple scales. He has published over 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 6 book chapters, and holds 46 issued patents and 30+ patent applications.

Dr. Zhang obtained his Ph. D. degree in polymer chemistry from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2000 in Beijing and continued his research as a postdoc and an assistant scientist at The University of Wisconsin - Madison from 2000 to 2005. After that, he worked at Quallion LLC as a senior battery engineer before moved to Argonne National Laboratory in 2007.

Representative Publications (Total of 150)

  1. Jianzhong Yang, Qian Liu, Krzysztof Z. Pupek, Trevor L. Dzwiniel, Nancy L. Dietz Rago, Jiayu Cao, Kewei Liu, Chen Liao, and Zhengcheng Zhang*. Molecular Engineering to Enable High-Voltage Lithium-Ion Battery: From Propylene Carbonate to Trifluoropropylene Carbonate. ACS Energy Lett., 2021, 6, 2, 371–378. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​2​1​/​a​c​s​e​n​e​r​g​y​l​e​t​t​.​0​c​02400
  2. Qian Liu, Chia-Wei Hsu, Trevor L. Dzwiniel, Krzysztof Z. Pupek and Zhengcheng Zhang*. A Fluorine-Substituted Pyrrolidinium-Based Ionic Liquid for High-Voltage Li-ion Batteries. Chem. Commun., 2020, 56, 7317-7320. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​3​9​/​D​0​C​C​0​2184A
  3. Sisi Jiang, Zhenzhen Yang, Yuzi Liu, Noah Johnson, Ira Bloom, Lu Zhang, and Zhengcheng Zhang*. Engineering the Si Anode Interface via Particle Surface Modification: Embedded Organic Carbonates Lead to Enhanced Performance. ACS Appl. Energy Mater., 2021, 4, 8, 8193–8200. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​2​1​/​a​c​s​a​e​m​.​1​c​00374
  4. Jiayu Cao, Quinton Meisner, Tobias Glossmann, Andreas Hintennach, Yan Wang, Paul Redfern, Larry A. Curtiss, and Zhengcheng Zhang*. Tackling the Issues of Li-S Battery Chemistry by a Functional Additive - Hexafluorobenzene (HFB). ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2020, 3, 3198-3204. https://​dx​.doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​2​1​/​a​c​s​a​e​m​.​0​c​00177
  5. Ke Lu, Siyuan Gao, Jacob Kaelin, Guosheng Li, Zhengcheng Zhang, Yingwen Cheng. Regulating Interfacial Na-ion Flux via Artificial Layers with Superior Ionic Conductivity for Stable and High-rate Na Metal Batteries. ACS Mater. Lett., 2019, 2019, 1, 303-309. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​2​1​/​a​c​s​m​a​t​e​r​i​a​l​s​l​e​t​t​.​9​b​00257
  6. Adam Tornheim, Soroosh Sharifi-Asl, Juan C. Garcia, Javier Bareño, Hakim Iddir, Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, and Zhengcheng Zhang*. Effect of Electrolyte Composition on Rock Salt Surface Degradation in NMC Cathodes During High-Voltage Potentiostatic Holds. Nano Energy, 2019, 55, 216-225. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​1​6​/​j​.​n​a​n​o​e​n​.​2​0​1​8​.​1​0.065
  7. Jinhua Huang, Zheng Yang, Vijayakumar Murugesan, Eric Walter, Aaron Hollas, Baofei Pan, Rajeev S. Assary, Ilya A. Shkrob, Xiaoliang Wei, and Zhengcheng Zhang*. Spatially Constrained Organic Diquat Anolyte for Stable Aqueous Flow Batteries. ACS Energy Lett., 2018, 3, 10, 2533-2538. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​2​1​/​a​c​s​e​n​e​r​g​y​l​e​t​t​.​8​b​01550
  8. Meinan He, Chi-Cheung Su, Zhenxing Feng, Li Zeng, Tianpin Wu, Michael J. Bedzyk, Paul Fenter, Yan Wang and Zhengcheng Zhang*. High Voltage LiNi0.5Mn0.3Co0.2O2/Graphite Cell Cycled at 4.6 V with A FEC/HFDEC-Based Electrolyte. Adv. Energy Mater., 2017, 7, 1700109. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​0​2​/​a​e​n​m​.​2​0​1​7​00109
  9. Chi-Cheng Su, Meinan He, Paul Redfern, Larry A. Curtiss, Ilya Shkrob and Zhengcheng Zhang*. Oxidatively Stable Fluorinated Sulfone Electrolytes for 5-V Lithium-ion Battery. Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, 10, 900-904. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​3​9​/​C​7​E​E​0​0035A
  10. Zhengcheng Zhang,* Libo Hu, Huiming Wu, Wei Weng, Meiten Koh, Paul C. Redfern, Larry A. Curtiss and Khalil Amine. Fluorinated Electrolytes for 5-V Lithium-ion Battery Chemistry. Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 1806-1810. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​3​9​/​C​3​E​E​2​4414H


Representative Patents (Total of 46)

  1. Zhang et al. Polyfluorinated carbonate electrolyte for high-voltage lithium batteries. US 11,127,979
  2. Zhang et al. Aqueous redox flow batteries. US 10,553,890
  3. Zhang et al. Fluoro-substituted ethers and compositions. US 10,347,943
  4. Zhang et al. Aqueous pyridinium cation-based redox flow batteries. US 10,374,239
  5. Zhang et al. Lithium sulfur battery with fluorinated electrolyte and sulfur cathode with a carbon paper matrix. US 10,109,886
  6. Zhang et al. Polyether-functionalized redox shuttle additives for lithium ion batteries, US 8,609,287
  7. Zhang et al. Electroactive compositions with poly(arylene oxide) and stabilized lithium metal particles. US 9,029,013.
  8. Zhang et al. Battery having electrolyte with mixed solvent. US 8,153,307
  9. Zhang et al. Functionalized ionic liquid electrolytes for lithium ion batteries. US 9,093,722,
  10. Zhang et al. Non-aqueous electrolytes for electrochemical cells. US 9,368,832


Contact Zhengcheng (John) Zhang

Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Ave., Building 200, Room E117, Argonne, IL 60439, USA

Email: zzhang@​anl.​gov; Phone: 630-252-7868 (Office)