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The formation of  Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) is critical for batteries' performance. Although electrolytes have been optimized so that they form a stable SEI on the commercial graphite anode, preventing significant capacity fade even after extended cycling, problems remain for next generation, higher-capacity anodes such as Si, Sn and Li metal. In an effort to stabilize the SEI on Si, sacrificial electrolyte additives are commonly used to improve the cycle life. However, the mechanisms by which these additives modify the nature of the SEI are not well understood due to the inherent difficulties associated with characterizing disordered interfacial structures. 

Our group has previously shown that solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) is an elemental specific technique that can be used to analyse the air-sensitive and disordered SEI components. However, due to the inherent low sensitivity, ssNMR is restricted to high natural abundance nuclei such as 1H, 7Li, 19F and 31P. To probe the organic species in the SEI, electrolyte with expensive 13C labelling should be used to enhance the sensitivity. 

In my work, a combination of solution and solid-state NMR techniques, including Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) are employed to study the organic SEI with increased sensitivity. Two of the most widely used additives FEC and VC are under investigation. The chemical structures of both soluble and insoluble SEI are elucidated. The ultimate goal of this project is to provide a rational route to chemically synthesize specific molecular structures (e.g. polymeric networks) that can be used to coat electrode materials in batteries and subsequently improve the cycle life and enhance safety.


University of Cambridge

Cambridge, UK

Ph.D. Chemistry (with Clare Grey FRS) 

Xiamen University

Fujian, China

B.S. Chemistry

I was previously in the group of Prof. Yong Yang, studying the SEI on silicon nanowires using ssNMR and the effect of Cu coating on electrochemistry of the SiNWs.  


2. Yanting Jin, Nis-Julian H Kneusels, Pieter C.M.M. Magusin, Gunwoo Kim, Elizabeth Castillo-Martinez, Lauren E Marbella, Rachel N. Kerber, Duncan J. Howe, Subhradip Paul, Tao Liu, and Clare P. Grey, Identifying the Structural Basis for the Increased Stability of the Solid Electrolyte Interphase Formed on Silicon with the Additive Fluoroethylene Carbonate, J. Am. Chem. Soc.  2017139 (42), 14992–15004, (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b06834)

1. Shoushun Chen, Guiming Zhong, Xia Cao, Yuxing Gao, Yanting Jin, Anan Wu, Zhengliang Gong, Riqiang Fu, Yufen Zhao and Yong Yang, An Approach to Probe Solid Electrolyte Interface on Si Anode by 31P MAS NMR, ECS Electrochemistry Letters, 2013, 2(12), 115-117 (DOI: 10.1149/2.002312eel)

Contact Information

Pembroke College

Cambridge, CB2 1RF

United Kingdom







Co3O4-Catalyzed LiOH Chemistry in Li–O2 Batteries
J Lu, S Dey, I Temprano, Y Jin, C Xu, Y Shao, CP Grey
– ACS Energy Letters
Visualizing the growth process of sodium microstructures in sodium batteries by in-situ 23Na MRI and NMR spectroscopy
Y Xiang, G Zheng, Z Liang, Y Jin, X Liu, S Chen, K Zhou, J Zhu, M Lin, H He, J Wan, S Yu, G Zhong, R Fu, Y Li, Y Yang
– Nature Nanotechnology
NMR Study of the Degradation Products of Ethylene Carbonate in Silicon-Lithium Ion Batteries
Y Jin, N-JH Kneusels, CP Grey
– J Phys Chem Lett
Understanding Fluoroethylene Carbonate and Vinylene Carbonate Based Electrolytes for Si Anodes in Lithium Ion Batteries with NMR Spectroscopy
Y Jin, N-JH Kneusels, LE Marbella, E Castillo-Martínez, PCMM Magusin, RS Weatherup, E Jónsson, T Liu, S Paul, CP Grey
– J Am Chem Soc
Identifying the Structural Basis for the Increased Stability of the Solid Electrolyte Interphase Formed on Silicon with the Additive Fluoroethylene Carbonate.
Y Jin, N-JH Kneusels, PCMM Magusin, G Kim, E Castillo-Martínez, LE Marbella, RN Kerber, DJ Howe, S Paul, T Liu, CP Grey
– J Am Chem Soc

Telephone number

01223 336539