Better Batteries for a Greener Tomorrow
Professor Huolin Xin has a vision: make airplanes fully electric as soon as possible. It’s a vision that has the feel of science fiction — but Xin, a self-proclaimed optimist, is confident that it’s only a matter of time before the fiction becomes reality, which is why he’s dedicated his research career to making batteries that’re up to the task. In his talk, Professor Xin will discuss what it takes to make quantum batteries that can power airplanes, and how the discoveries that happen in his lab make their way into the industrial and commercial realms — and, one day, into planes themselves, which every year are accounting for more and more of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Huolin Xin is an associate professor at UC Irvine. He graduated from the Physics Department of Cornell University in 2011 and joined the University of California, Irvine in 2018. Prior to becoming a professor at UCI, he worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory as a scientific staff member and a principal investigator from 2013 to 2018. He is an expert in developing novel materials for batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers and future quantum technologies. His in-depth diagnostic work has helped enable the development of several battery materials. He received the DOE Early Career Award and the UCI Distinguished Early-Career Faculty for Research in 2020, as well as the Beall Innovation Award in Physical Science in 2021. His work on battery materials has been selected as 2020’s, 2019’s and 2014's Top-10 Scientific Achievements by Brookhaven Lab. Xin holds a strong track record in leading multidisciplinary studies. He’s the lead PI in charge of managing a $2.5-million DOE Vehicle Technology Office project on low-to-no-cobalt lithium-ion batteries. (For the battery industry, using cobalt is the equivalent of buying blood diamonds — much of it comes from conflict zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo.) Xin’s published more than 270 peer-reviewed publications, and has co-authored more than 35 publications in Science and Nature sister journals. He was the Chair of the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2020 meeting, the annual society meeting of the Microscopy Society of America and the Microanalysis Society.