Chen Chen

Post Doctoral Scholar
Department of Chemistry
University of Chicago


Chen received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Wuhan University, China, in 2005, 2008, and 2011, respectively. After graduation, he continued to work at Wuhan University as a lecturer, and in 2013 he joined The Voth Group at The University of Chicago as a Visiting Scholar. He has studied multi-phase fluid motion in capillaries using many-body dissipative particle dynamics (MDPD) and his current research interest is the development and application of reactive OH models in anion exchange membrane systems.

Research Interests:

Anion exchange membrane (AEM) fuel cells are a novel class of fuel cell, which is claimed to inherit most of the merits of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, while providing a potential solution to the latter’s notorious precious metal dependent problem by replacing the strong acidic environment with an alkaline one. Efforts have been made to develop AEMs with higher conductivity and better mechanical/chemical strength, which requires detailed understanding of the micro morphology to be obtained. Computer simulation could be a powerful weapon towards this goal.

Conventional MD is performing well in some situations, but clearly not enough for the study of the transport of hydroxide ion (OH-) in this system, because OH- is well known to move in a “hopping” style, which involves the forming and breaking of water O-H bond in the process. Therefore, a method of being able to describe this kind of reactive motion is absolutely required to get better and correct knowledge.

We are now trying to combine the reactive OH- model developed in this group with the non-reactive model available in literature. This reactive MD is to be applied to studying the AEM system to gain more interesting insights of OH- transport in such materials, which is expected to give better explanations of current experimental findings and advice for future development.

Selected Publications:

1.       Chen Chen, Kangjie Lu, Xuefeng Li, Jinfeng Dong, Juntao Lu, Lin Zhuang*, A Many-Body Dissipative Particle Dynamics Study of Fluid-Fluid Spontaneous Capillary Displacement, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 6545-6555.

2.       Jing Pan, Chen Chen, Yao Li, Lei Wang, Lisheng Tan, Guangwei Li, Xun Tang, Li Xiao, Juntao Lu, Lin Zhuang*, Constructing Ionic Highway in Alkaline Polymer Electrolytes, Energy Environ. Sci., 2014, 7, 354-360. (Inside cover)

3.       Chen Chen, Kangjie Lu, Lin Zhuang*, Xuefeng Li, Jinfeng Dong, and Juntao Lu, Effective Fluid Front of the Moving Meniscus in Capillary, Langmuir, 2013, 29, 3269-3273. 

4.       Jing Pan, Chen Chen, Lin Zhuang*, Juntao Lu, Designing Advanced Alkaline Polymer Electrolytes for Fuel Cell Applications, Acc. Chem. Res., 2012, 45, 473-481. (Cover)