Huolin Xin, UCI assistant professor of physics & astronomy, has been awarded $2.5 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to advance research in next-generation lithium-ion batteries. His project is one of 42 supported by an $80 million fund for promising vehicle technologies to enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials and enhance U.S. economic growth. Cobalt, which provides stability in lithium-ion batteries, has nearly tripled

An assistant professor of physics & astronomy, Huolin Xin joined UCI’s faculty earlier this year.

in price over the past several years, inspiring numerous studies focused on the reduction or elimination of it in power cells. The efforts of the UCI-led team will center on developing a three-dimensional doping method in high-nickel, low-cobalt materials – with the ultimate goal of reducing costs and improving the safety, energy density and longevity of mobile energy storage. Xin, who joined UCI’s faculty earlier this year, was previously a staff scientist and principal investigator at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. He is an expert in the application of artificial intelligence-driven transmission electron microscopy and state-of-the-art 3-D chemical imaging in the study of batteries, fuel cells and gas reduction electrocatalysts. “To help address future climate change, a greater portion of the global automobile fleet will need to be based on electric versus internal combustion motors, and our energy sector will have to rely more heavily on battery storage,” Xin said. “As the world is facing a critical need for better materials and technologies, the purpose of this DOE-funded project is to meet that demand through innovation.”