Group Biography

The industrial evolution since the 19th century has led us to technological breakthrough but also brought environmental issues such as the excessive emission of carbon dioxide. Renewable electricity, from solar panels or wind turbos, could be used as alternative energy source. The intermittency nature of these renewable energy calls for the development of new technologies for energy storage, such as electrochemical energy storage. 

The scenario of building renewable energy systems based on electrochemistry (De Luna et al., Science 364, 350)

The group of electrochemistry and Raman spectroscopy (GEARS), led by Dr. Dan Ren in Xi'an Jiaotong University, aims at pushing the boundaries of our understanding on the electrochemical process as well as resolving technological problems related to electrochemical engineering. The major research interest is to develop efficient systems for electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals. The group is especially interested in investigating the dynamic electrochemical process at the catalytic interfaces by employing multiple in situ techniques for probing the interface. 

The group is also working on other electrochemistry processes such as water splitting and cycles of nitrogen-based ions.  

Meet the PI


2009.09-2013.06, B.Eng.Shanghai Jiao Tong University

2013.07-2017.12, Ph.D. with Prof. Boon Siang Yeo, National University of Singapore

2018.01-2021.12, Postdoc with Prof. Michael Grätzel, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Mailing address:

iHarbour Hongrun Building 19-3212, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China


Laboratory address:

#211 Teaching Building 2, South Xingqing Road 5, Xi'an 710049, China



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Researcher ID:

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We are hiring

The group now has several positions available:

1. Graduate student

Requirement: 1) team player, 2) bachelor’s degree or bachelor student in his/her final year, 3) strong interest in research, especially in electrochemistry.

For international students, please see the link for available scholarships and application procedure (

2. Undergraduate researcher

Interest in electrochemistry-related research is the only requirement.

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact the principal investigator via email:   

Grants and Awards


  • Fundamental Research Funding for Central Universities, Xi’an Jiaotong University, CNY 80,000 (07/2022-06/2024)
  • Qin Chuangyuan Talent Programme, Shaanxi Provincial Department of Science & Technology, CNY 370,000 (07/2022-06/2025)
  • Public Research Funding, ​​​​​​​Key Laboratory of AEMC (MOE), CNY 30,000 (06/2022-05/2024)
  • Young Talent Support PlanXi’an Jiaotong University, CNY 1,000,000 (01/2022-12/2027)

Before XJTU:

  • Solar-Bio Fuels Grant, Gebert Ruf Stiftung, CHF 287,000 (03/2020-11/2022)
  • Dean’s Award for Excellent ScientistsÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CHF 2,500 (12/2020)
  • Conference Travel GrantLee Kong Chian Foundation, SGD 1,500 (06/2016)
  • Ph.D. Research ScholarshipMinistry of Education of Singapore, SGD 200,000 (07/2013-06/2017)

Selected Publications

Jing Gao, Alimohammad Bahmanpour, Oliver Krocher, Shaik M. Zakeeruddin, Dan Ren* & Michael Grätzel*. Electrochemical Synthesis of Propylene from Carbon Dioxide on Copper Nanocrystals. Nat. Chem. 2023, DOI: 10.1038/s41557-023-01163-8

Honglei Wang, Yunfei Jiao, Bing Wu, Dong Wang*, Yueqi Hu, Fei Liang, Chen Shen*, Andrea Knauer, Dan Ren*, Hongguang Wang*, Peter A van Aken, Hongbin Zhang, Michael Grätzel, Zdenek Sofer & Peter Schaaf. Exfoliated 2D Layered and Nonlayered Metal Phosphorous Trichalcogenides Nanosheets as Promising Electrocatalysts for CO2 Reduction. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, DOI: 10.1002/anie.202217253

Jing Gao*, Jun Li, Yuhang Liu, Meng Xia, Y. Zou Finfrock, Shaik M. Zakeeruddin, Dan Ren* & Michael Grätzel*. Solar Reduction of Carbon Dioxide on Copper-tin Electrocatalysts with Energy Conversion Efficiency near 20%. Nat. Commun. 2022, 5898

Qixing Zhang, Dan Ren (equal contribution), Sanjiang Pan, Mang Wang, Jingshan Luo, Ying Zhao, Michael Grätzel & Xiaodan Zhang*. Micro-Electrode with Fast Mass Transport for Enhancing Selectivity of Carbonaceous Products in Electrochemical CO2 Reduction. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2021, 2103966

Jing Gao, Hong Zhang, Xueyi Guo, Jingshan Luo, Shaik M. Zakeeruddin, Dan Ren* & Michael Grätzel*. Selective C-C Coupling via Efficient Spillover of Intermediates as Supported by Operando Raman spectroscopy. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 18704

Dan Ren, Jing Gao, Linfeng Pan, Zaiwei Wang, Jingshan Luo, Shaik M. Zakeeruddin, Anders Hagfeldt & Michael Grätzel*. Atomic Layer Deposition of ZnO on CuO Enables Selective and Efficient Electroreduction of Carbon Dioxide to Liquid Fuels. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 15036

Dan Ren, Jinhuan Fong & Boon Siang Yeo*. The Effects of Currents and Potentials on the Selectivities of Copper Toward Carbon Dioxide Electroreduction. Nat. Commun. 2018, 925

For full publication list, please redirect here.

Glance at the Lab