Doctoral student Chaohong Guan from the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) has secured funding from China’s National Natural Science Foundation. His research project, titled “Machine Learning Assisted Multi-Performance Collaborative Solid-State Electrolyte Design,” has been selected for the foundation’s prestigious 2023 Youth Student Basic Research Program (Doctoral Students). The project aims to revolutionize the design of solid-state electrolytes, crucial components in the development of next-generation high-energy-density batteries.

All-solid-state batteries represent a pivotal direction in the advancement of next-generation high-energy-density batteries, playing a crucial role in the transformation of energy infrastructure. Solid-state electrolytes, as integral components of these batteries, significantly influence their key performance metrics. Despite decades of extensive research on materials such as sulfide, oxide, and halide electrolytes, achieving comprehensive breakthroughs in electrolyte materials remains elusive. Currently, there are no reports of solid-state electrolytes that can simultaneously meet the requirements of high ionic conductivity, stability, mechanical performance, and cost-effectiveness, hindering their ability to economically replace commercial lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, the development of novel solid-state electrolytes with multi-performance synergy is essential for the industrialization of solid-state batteries. This project aims to expedite the design of novel solid-state electrolytes and foster the development of collaborative electrolytes and theories, thereby facilitating the commercialization of solid-state batteries.

The National Natural Science Foundation Youth Student Basic Research Program (Doctoral Students), launched in 2023 as a pioneering initiative, is primarily aimed at identifying exceptional doctoral candidates with untapped research potential and solid academic backgrounds, demonstrating substantial promise in scientific advancement. Successful candidates assume the role of project leaders and are granted funding to conduct scientific research endeavors. They are encouraged to independently chart their research trajectories, exploring both fundamental and interdisciplinary realms. The program operates through a rigorous “recommendation + review” mechanism, comprising various stages such as individual student applications, institutional endorsements, communication assessments by the foundation committee, and conference evaluations. Employing a hierarchical selection approach, outstanding candidates are singled out, and the funded projects are ultimately determined.


Student Introduction
Chaohong Guan is a JI doctoral student enrolled in 2021. His research focuses on the theoretical design of solid-state electrolytes. He has published multiple papers in journals such as Energy Stor. Mater. and J. Mater. Chem. A. 
Advisor Introduction 

Hong Zhu is an Associate Professor and doctoral advisor at JI. She is also a member of the Materials Genome Joint Research Center at SJTU. Additionally, she holds a concurrent appointment at the School of Materials Science and Engineering at SJTU. Her primary research focuses on the methodology of materials genome and theoretical research on new energy materials. She has published over 100 papers with more than 4000 citations, including over 40 papers as first author or corresponding author in journals such as Adv. Mater., ACS Energy Lett., Energy Storage Mater., npj Comp. Mater., and Chem. Mater. She has led projects funded by the National Natural Science Foundation, including General and Youth programs, and has been involved as a core member in three key research and development projects related to materials genome. She has been awarded the Shanghai Young Talent Support Program and the Outstanding Young Female Teacher Development Award.