Dr Hua Li

Dr Hua Li

Lecturer

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

Upon completing my PhD studies in Applied Science (Minerals and Materials), at Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia in 2012, I was employed as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Discipline of Chemistry, University of Newcastle. In January 2015 I was appointed to a full-time lecturing position in the same discipline. Currently, my research focuses on developing new and high-performance ionic liquid based lubricants, including:

  • Nanostructure and Nanotribology (Nanofriction) of Ionic Liquids

As ionic liquids are composed solely of cations and anions, lubricity can be externally controlled in situ by application of a potential to an electrode surface. The ion composition in the boundary layer responds with the applied potential, and thus alters lubricity.

Experimental results will be correlated to computational simulations, so as to reveal the details of the boundary layer and how nanotribology alters with the boundary layer structure at the ionic liquid-electrode interface.

  • Ionic Liquids as Lubricant Additives

Pure ionic liquids are very expensive. The high cost limits their extensive application in industry. The problem can be solved by applying ionic liquids as lubricant additives, where small amounts can markedly improve the tribological performance of commercially cheap base oils.

Tribology (friction) at both nanoscale and macroscale will be investigated so as to reveal how the ions of ionic liquids alter the lubricity at the oil-solid interfaces. The details of my research focus are described in the attached research proposal.

Linking tribological performance at the nanoscale and macroscale remains a considerable challenge for the development of new and more effective lubricants. The tuneable nature of ionic liquids enables cause – effect relationships to be teased out in ways not possible for conventional lubricants, meaning that I am well places to address this issue. 


Qualifications

  • Master of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering), Tianjin University - China
  • Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Arts, Tianjin University - China
  • Diploma in Material Chemistry, Tianjin University - China
  • Diploma in Biomedical Engineering, Tianjin University - China

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
030699 Physical Chemistry not elsewhere classified 40
039901 Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry) 20
030399 Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry not elsewhere classified 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
Edit

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (15 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Li H, Somers AE, Howlett PC, Rutland MW, Forsyth M, Atkin R, 'Addition of low concentrations of an ionic liquid to a base oil reduces friction over multiple length scales: a combined nano- and macrotribology investigation.', Phys Chem Chem Phys, 18 6541-6547 (2016)
DOI 10.1039/c5cp07061a
Co-authors Rob Atkin
2015 Li H, Atkin R, Page AJ, 'Combined Friction Force Microscopy and Quantum Chemical Investigation of the Tribotronic Response at the Propylammonium Nitrate¿Graphite Interface', Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17 16047-16052 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1039/C5CP01952D
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Rob Atkin, Alister Page
2015 McLean B, Li H, Stefanovic R, Wood RJ, Webber GB, Ueno K, et al., 'Nanostructure of [Li (G4)] TFSI and [Li (G4)] NO 3 solvate ionic liquids at HOPG and Au (111) electrode interfaces as a function of potential', Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17 325-333 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1039/C4CP04522J
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Rob Atkin, Alister Page, Grant Webber
2014 Li H, Cooper PK, Somers AE, Rutland MW, Howlett PC, Forsyth M, Atkin R, 'Ionic liquid adsorption and nanotribology at the silica-oil interface: Hundred-fold dilution in oil lubricates as effectively as the pure ionic liquid', Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 5 4095-4099 (2014) [C1]

© 2014 American Chemical Society.The remarkable physical properties of ionic liquids (ILs) make them potentially excellent lubricants. One of the challenges for using ILs as lubr... [more]

© 2014 American Chemical Society.The remarkable physical properties of ionic liquids (ILs) make them potentially excellent lubricants. One of the challenges for using ILs as lubricants is their high cost. In this article, atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanotribology measurements reveal that a 1 mol % solution of IL dissolved in an oil lubricates the silica surface as effectively as the pure IL. The adsorption isotherm shows that the IL surface excess need only be approximately half of the saturation value to prevent surface contact and effectively lubricate the sliding surfaces. Using ILs in this way makes them viable for large-scale applications.

DOI 10.1021/jz5021422
Citations Scopus - 8Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Rob Atkin
2014 Li H, Wood RJ, Endres F, Atkin R, 'Influence of alkyl chain length and anion species on ionic liquid structure at the graphite interface as a function of applied potential', Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, 26 (2014) [C1]

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) force measurements elucidate the effect of cation alkyl chain length and the anion species on ionic liquid (IL) interfacial structure at highly order... [more]

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) force measurements elucidate the effect of cation alkyl chain length and the anion species on ionic liquid (IL) interfacial structure at highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surfaces as a function of potential. Three ILs are examined: 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium tris(pentafluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate ([HMIM] FAP), 1-ethyl-3- methylimidazolium tris(pentafluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate ([EMIM] FAP), and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([EMIM] TFSA). The step-wise force-distance profiles indicate the ILs adopt a multilayered morphology near the surface. When the surface is biased positively or negatively versus Pt quasireference electrode, both the number of steps, and the force required to rupture each step increase, indicating stronger interfacial structure. At all potentials, push-through forces for [HMIM] FAP are the highest, because the long alkyl chain results in strong cohesive interactions between cations, leading to well-formed layers that resist the AFM tip. The most layers are observed for [EMIM] FAP, because the C2 chains are relatively rigid and the dimensions of the cation and anion are similar, facilitating neat packing. [EMIM] TFSA has the smallest push-through forces and fewest layers, and thus the weakest interfacial structure. Surface-tip attractive forces are measured for all ILs. At the same potential, the attractions are the strongest for [EMIM] TFSA and the weakest for [HMIM] FAP because the interfacial layers are better formed for the longer alkyl chain cation. This means interfacial forces are stronger, which masks the weak attractive forces. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.

DOI 10.1088/0953-8984/26/28/284115
Citations Scopus - 12Web of Science - 10
Co-authors Rob Atkin
2014 Carstens T, Gustus R, Höfft O, Borisenko N, Endres F, Li H, et al., 'Combined STM, AFM, and DFT study of the highly ordered pyrolytic graphite/1-octyl-3-methyl-imidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide interface', Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 118 10833-10843 (2014) [C1]

The highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG)/1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([OMIm]Tf2N) interface is examined by ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunnelin... [more]

The highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG)/1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([OMIm]Tf2N) interface is examined by ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (UHV-STM), atomic force microscopy (UHV-AFM) (and as a function of potential by in situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)), in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM), and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. In situ STM and AFM results reveal that multiple ionic liquid (IL) layers are present at the HOPG/electrode interface at all potentials. At open-circuit potential (OCP), attractions between the cation alkyl chain and the HOPG surface result in the ion layer bound to the surface being cation rich. As the potential is varied, the relative concentrations of cations and anions in the surface layer change: as the potential is made more positive, anions are preferentially adsorbed at the surface, while at negative potentials the surface layer is cation rich. At -2 V an unusual overstructure forms. STM images and AFM friction force microscopy measurements both confirm that the roughness of this overstructure increases with time. DFT calculations reveal that [OMIm]+ is attracted to the graphite surface at OCP; however, adsorption is enhanced at negative potentials due to favorable electrostatic interactions, and at -2 V the surface layer is cation rich and strongly bound. The energetically most favorable orientation within this layer is with the [OMIm]+ octyl chains aligned "epitaxially" along the graphitic lattice. This induces quasi-crystallization of cations on the graphite surface and formation of the overstructure. An alternative explanation may be that, because of the bulkiness of the cation sitting along the surface, a single layer of cations is unable to quench the surface potential, so a second layer forms. The most energetically favorable way to do this might be in a quasi-crystalline/multilayered fashion. It could also be a combination of strong surface binding/orientations and the need for multilayers to quench the charge. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

DOI 10.1021/jp501260t
Citations Scopus - 18Web of Science - 12
Co-authors Alister Page, Rob Atkin
2014 Li H, Wood RJ, Rutland MW, Atkin R, 'An ionic liquid lubricant enables superlubricity to be "switched on" in situ using an electrical potential.', Chem Commun (Camb), 50 4368-4370 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1039/c4cc00979g
Citations Scopus - 31Web of Science - 22
Co-authors Rob Atkin
2013 Li H, Paneru M, Sedev R, Ralston J, 'Dynamic Electrowetting and Dewetting of Ionic Liquids at a Hydrophobic Solid¿Liquid Interface', Langmuir, 29 2631-2639 (2013)
DOI 10.1021/la304088t
2013 Li H, Rutland MW, Atkin R, 'Ionic liquid lubrication: Influence of ion structure, surface potential and sliding velocity', Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 15 14616-14623 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1039/c3cp52638k
Citations Scopus - 46Web of Science - 34
Co-authors Rob Atkin
2013 Li H, Endres F, Atkin R, 'Effect of alkyl chain length and anion species on the interfacial nanostructure of ionic liquids at the Au(111)-ionic liquid interface as a function of potential', Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 15 14624-14633 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1039/c3cp52421c
Citations Scopus - 45Web of Science - 32
Co-authors Rob Atkin
2011 Wu L, Li X, Li H, Yuan X, 'Comparison of BSA release behavior from electrospun PLGA and PLGA/chitosan membranes.', Chem. Res. Chin. Univ., 27 708-711 (2011)
2011 Li H, Sedev R, Ralston J, 'Dynamic wetting of a fluoropolymer surface by ionic liquids', Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 13 3952-3959 (2011)
DOI 10.1039/C0CP02035D
2010 Sun B, Li S, Zhang H, Li H, Zhao C, Yuan X, Cui Y, 'Controlled release of Berberine chloride by electrospun core/shell PVP/PLCL fibrous membranes.', Int. J. Mater. Prod. Technol., 37 338-349 (2010)
DOI 10.1504/IJMPT.2010.031433
2010 Li X, Zhang H, Li H, Yuan X, 'Encapsulation of proteinase K in PELA ultrafine fibers by emulsion electrospinning: preparation and in vitro evaluation', Colloid and Polymer Science, 288 1113-1119 (2010)
DOI 10.1007/s00396-010-2235-5
2010 Wu L, Li H, Li S, Li X, Yuan X, Li X, Zhang Y, 'Composite fibrous membranes of PLGA and chitosan prepared by coelectrospinning and coaxial electrospinning.', J. Biomed. Mater. Res., Part A, 92A 563-574 (2010)
DOI 10.1002/jbm.a.32393
Show 12 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Atkin R, Li H, Sweeney J, Elbourne A, Webber G, Rutland M, Warr GG, 'Effect of surface nanostructure and ion structure on the nanotribology of the graphite: Ionic liquid interface', ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY (2014) [E3]
Co-authors Rob Atkin, Grant Webber
Edit

Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 2
Total funding $14,291

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20161 grants / $7,000

Global Connections Fund Priming Grant$7,000

Funding body: ATSE (Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering)

Funding body ATSE (Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering)
Project Team Doctor Hua Li
Scheme Priming Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1600963
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC
UON Y

20151 grants / $7,291

Investigation of Ionic Liquids as Lubricant Additives for Light-Weight Metals$7,291

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Scheme Strategic Small Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N
Edit

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current1

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.25

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2016 PhD Adsorption Processes at Perovskite Interfaces
PhD (Chemistry), Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
Edit

Dr Hua Li

Position

Lecturer
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Contact Details

Email hua.li@newcastle.edu.au
Phone 40339373

Office

Room 110
Building NIER Building C
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
Edit