The University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) Associate Professor Shouhang Bo has secured the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) – Royal Society (RS) cooperation and international exchange grant with his counterpart, Professor Peter Bruce, Wolfson Chair Professor of Oxford University and Fellow of the Royal Society. The grant serves to support a two-year joint research and development program of solid-state sodium batteries by the two parties.

Solid-state sodium batteries are expected to provide energy density equivalent to lithium-ion batteries at a lower cost, with potential applications in large-scale energy storage, low-speed electric vehicles and electric bicycles. China has a huge market for low-speed electric vehicles and electric bicycles which mainly use lead-acid batteries with more serious pollution, or lithium-ion batteries with higher costs. The development of solid-state sodium batteries will effectively reduce the cost and the environmental pollution associated with batteries. However, due to the instability of the interface between the solid electrode and the solid electrolyte, the performance of the solid-state sodium batteries is still poor.

The JI-Oxford joint research team will develop new materials, new characterization methods, and new battery systems, to eventually enable solid-state sodium batteries with long-term cycling stability. This cooperation lays the foundation for the in-depth cooperation with Professor Peter Bruce of Oxford University and the future application of the China-UK joint solid-state battery project.

Since he joined JI in 2017, Professor Bo’s research has been focusing on fast ionic conductors, interface characterization, and imaging of solid-state batteries ( To date, he has published 42 relevant academic papers on top journals including Nature Reviews Materials, Nature Communications, Joule and Chemical Reviews, with 5 ESI highly cited papers. Based on his earlier research, Professor Bo proposed the reverse interface design strategy, suggesting that hydrate protection layer can dramatically increase the cycling stability of solid-state sodium batteries.

Personal Profile

Shouhang Bo is a tenure-track Associate Professor of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Fudan University in 2009 and Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Stony Brook University in 2014. Before he joined JI in July 2017, Professor Bo was a postdoctoral fellow at Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His recent research interests include solid-state electrolytes, interface and imaging of solid-state batteries.