Molecular simulations key to advances in battery technology

Researcher profile: Dr Fangfang Chen

Dr Fangfang Chen

Tell me about your research and what impact you hope it will have?
My research is to design and develop the next generation of electrolyte materials for high-performance batteries via molecular simulations. Through an in-depth understanding of electrolyte structures and their interactions, the inherent mechanisms can be disclosed which help us understand the electrolytes’ performance. I hope my research can have a key impact on knowledge development, material innovation and advances in battery technology.
How did you get into this area of research?
I started research in this area through my first job, and I then went on to work on Professor Maria Forsyth’s Laureate project.
What achievements are you most proud of in your career?
My work is contributing to breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of novel electrolyte materials, especially super-concentrated electrolyte systems, including ionic liquids and poly(ionic liquids), which have been published in the top materials science journals, such as Nature Materials.
Who have been the most important influences on your career? How have they helped shape your path?
Professor Maria Forsyth has been the most important influence on my career. She led me into this research area and continues to provide me with great mentorship. We have a long-lasting collaboration over the past 10 years. With her encouragement and help, I have developed into an emerging research leader in applied computational material science.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy any achievements. including new discoveries, new knowledge and solving problems through my research.
What are the next challenges ahead for you?
How to improve the performance of poly(ionic liquid) electrolytes at room temperature to meet practical application requirements.