Materials Scientist
Materials Scientist


Yaobin Xu is a materials scientist at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) campus. He has extensive research experience in the application of novel electron microscopy techniques to advance the fundamental understanding of energy storage materials. His research focuses on understanding the microstructure performance-relationship in energy-related materials. He uses advanced microscopy and spectroscopy for probing solid electrolyte interphase and lithium dendrite in lithium metal batteries, high energy density cathode materials, and all solid state batteries. Xu has more than 80 papers published in peer-reviewed professional journals including Science, Nature Review Materials, Nature Energy, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Catalysis, et al. He obtained a Ph.D in material physics and chemistry from Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2016.

Research Interest

  • Understanding the microstructure-performance relationship in energy-related materials 

  • Probing solid electrolyte interphase and lithium dendrite in lithium metal batteries using advanced microscopy and spectroscopy


  • PhD in materials physics and chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2016
  • BS in metallurgical engineering, Central South University, 2010

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Materials Research Society
  • Microscopy Society of America
  • Symposium organizer/Session chair for Materials Research Society (MRS) and Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting (M&M) meetings
  • Youth editorial board member for Journal of Materials Science & Technology, Renewable and Sustainable Energy
  • Associate Editor for Frontiers in Batteries and Electrochemistry
  • Guest Editor for Materials, Frontiers in Chemistry, Renewable and Sustainable Energy



Chen, X., W. Li, Y. Xu, Z. Zeng, H. Tian, M. Velayutham, W. Shi, W. Li, C. Wang, D. Reed, V. V. Khramtsov, X. Li, and X. Liu. 2020. “Charging Activation and Desulfurization of MnS Unlock the Active Sites and Electrochemical Reactivity for Zn-Ion Batteries.” Nano Energy 75.  

Chen J., X. Fan, Q. Li, H. Yang, M.R. Khoshi, Y. Xu, and S. Hwang, et al. 2020. "Electrolyte Design for LiF-rich Solid-Electrolyte Interfaces to Enable High-performance Microsized Alloy Anodes for Batteries." Nature Energy 5, no. 5:386-397. PNNL-SA-151702. doi:10.1038/s41560-020-0601-1 

Xu Y., H. Wu, H. Jia, J. Zhang, X. Wu, and C. Wang. 2020. "Current density regulated atomic to nanoscale process on Li deposition and solid electrolyte interphase revealed by Cryogenic Transmission Electron Microscopy." ACS Nano 14, no. 7:8766-8775. PNNL-SA-152803. doi:10.1021/acsnano.0c03344 

Xu Y., H. Wu, H. Jia, M.H. Engelhard, J. Zhang, W. Xu, and C. Wang. 2020. "Sweeping potential regulated structural and chemical evolution of solid-electrolyte interphase on Cu and Li as revealed by cryo-TEM." Nano Energy 76. PNNL-SA-153402. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2020.105040 

Zhang X., L. Zou, Y. Xu, X. Cao, M.H. Engelhard, B.E. Matthews, and L. Zhong, et al. 2020. "Advanced electrolytes for fast-charging high-voltage lithium-ion batteries in wide-temperature range." Advanced Energy Materials 10, no. 22:2000368. PNNL-SA-150274. doi:10.1002/aenm.202000368 

Xu Y., H. Wu, Y. He, Q. Chen, J. Zhang, W. Xu, and C. Wang. 2020. "Atomic to Nanoscale Origin of Vinylene Carbonate Enhanced Cycling Stability of Lithium Metal Anode Revealed by Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscopy." Nano Letters 20, no. 1:418-425. PNNL-SA-149594. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b04111 

Zhang X., H. Jia, Y. Xu, L. Zou, M.H. Engelhard, B.E. Matthews, and C. Wang, et al. 2020. "Unraveling high-temperature stability of lithium-ion battery with lithium-rich oxide cathode in localized high-concentration electrolyte." Journal of Power Sources Advances 5. PNNL-SA-152836. doi:10.1016/j.powera.2020.100024 


Cao X., Y. Xu, L. Zhang, M.H. Engelhard, L. Zhong, X. Ren, and H. Jia, et al. 2019. "Nonflammable Electrolytes for Lithium Ion Batteries Enabled by Ultraconformal Passivation Interphases." ACS Energy Letters 4, no. 10:2529-2534. PNNL-SA-145269. doi:10.1021/acsenergylett.9b01926 

Wu H., Y. Xu, X. Ren, B. Liu, M.H. Engelhard, M.S. Ding, and P.Z. El-Khoury, et al. 2019. "Polymer-in-"quasi-ionic liquid" electrolytes for high-voltage lithium metal batteries." Advanced Energy Materials 9, no. 41:1902108. PNNL-SA-144443. doi:10.1002/aenm.201902108 

He Y., X. Ren, Y. Xu, M.H. Engelhard, X. Li, J. Xiao, and J. Liu, et al. 2019. "Origin of Lithium Whisker Formation and Growth under Stress." Nature Nanotechnology 14, no. 11:1042-1047. PNNL-SA-144887. doi:10.1038/s41565-019-0558-z