Professor Bai’s research focuses on the development of next-generation batteries. The Battery Analytical Investigation (BAI) Group he leads adopts a combined theoretical and experimental approach to
(i) probe the in situ electrochemical dynamics of miniature electrodes down to nanoscales;
(ii) capture the heterogeneous and stochastic nature of advanced electrodes to understand and optimize the macroscopic behavior; and
(iii) identify the theoretical pathways and boundaries for the rational design of materials, electrodes and batteries through physics-based mathematical modeling and simulation.
Knowledge and tools developed in the BAI Group also apply to and benefit the design of other electrochemical energy systems like supercapacitors and fuel cells.
Jointly trained at MIT and Tsinghua University, Professor Bai obtained his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2012. He continued his research in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT as a postdoctoral associate, then senior postdoctoral associate and research scientist, prior to joining Washington University in St. Louis as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2017. With his expertise in physics-based mathematical modeling and analytical electrochemistry, Professor Bai has published original research in scientific journals including Science, Nature Communications, Energy & Environmental Science, Nano Letters, etc. His thesis work on electrochemical phase transformation and stochastic reaction mechanisms in porous electrodes earned him the Oronzio and Niccolò De Nora Foundation Young Author Prize of the International Society of Electrochemistry in 2014.