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Xiaolin Li

Xiaolin Li

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Xiaolin Li currently is a scientist in the group of Electrochemical Materials and Systems in Energy Processes and Materials Division. He joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in December 2009. Before that, he conducted his postdoctoral research on carbon nanotubes and graphene with Prof. Hongjie Dai, NAS fellow, at Stanford University. Dr. Li has extensive experience with carbon nanotubes, graphene, and is an expert in designing nanostructured functional materials for various applications. He has authored/co-authored more than 80 papers including Science, Nature Nanotechnology, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Energy Environmental Science, Nature Communications, and Advanced Materials, to name a few. According to Google Scholar, he has a total citation of more than 20,000 times.

Research Interests

  • Design and synthesis of nanostructured functional materials
  • Carbon materials (e.g. carbon nanotubes and graphene)
  • Battery materials and renewable energy
  • Lithium-ion battery and beyond
  • New reaction chemistry/electrochemistry

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • B.S. in Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Member of American Chemical Society (ACS), Materials Research Society (MRS), and Electrochemical Society (ECS)
  • Editorial board member of ACS Energy Letters (2017-2019)
  • Guest editor of Nano Research and Advanced Energy Materials
  • Reviewer for Nature Communications, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, Chemistry of Materials, Nano Energy, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Energy & Environmental Science, Chemical Communications, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Electrochemistry Communications, and Journal of the Electrochemical Society, etc.
  • Organizers for ACS and MRS symposia

Awards and Recognitions

  • PNNL award for outstanding performance 2012
  • R&D 100 Award for Graphene Nanostructures for Lithium Batteries (Materials Sciences), 2012
  • National Natural Science Award for Functional Nanomaterials: Rational Synthesis, Structures, Properties and Their Applications, 2nd Prize (1st Prize was vacant), National Council, China, 2008
  • National Top 100 Excellent PhD Thesis Award, Ministry of Education, China, 2008
  • Winner of “Hangtian Haiying Cup” for the best PhD student, Tsinghua University, 2005

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications


  • Pan H., J.F. Ellis, X. Li, Z. Nie, H. Chang, and D. Reed. 2019. "Electrolyte Effect on the Electrochemical Performance of Mild Aqueous Zinc-Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide Batteries." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11, no. 2019:37524-37530. PNNL-SA-143553. doi:10.1021/acsami.9b09252
  • Ren P., M. Song, J. Lee, J. Zheng, Z. Lu, M.H. Engelhard, and X. Yang, et al. 2019. "Edge Dislocations Induce Improved Photocatalytic Efficiency of Colored TiO2." Advanced Materials Interfaces 6, no. 17:Article Number 1901121. PNNL-SA-145888. doi:10.1002/admi.201901121
  • Song J., D. Xiao, H. Jia, G. Zhu, M.H. Engelhard, B. Xiao, and S. Feng, et al. 2019. "A Comparative Study of Pomegranate Sb@C Yolk-Shell Microspheres as Li and Na-Ion Battery Anodes." Nanoscale 11, no. 1:348-355. PNNL-SA-139714. doi:10.1039/c8nr08461k
  • Xiao B., K. Wang, G. Xu, J. Song, Z. Chen, K. Amine, and D.M. Reed, et al. 2019. "Revealing the Atomic Origin of Heterogeneous Li-Ion Diffusion by Probing Na." Advanced Materials 31, no. 29:Article number 1805889. PNNL-SA-137695. doi:10.1002/adma.201805889
  • Xiao B., T. Rojo, and X. Li. 2019. "Hard Carbon as Sodium-Ion Battery Anodes: Progress and Challenges." ChemSusChem 12, no. 1:133-144. PNNL-SA-137454. doi:10.1002/cssc.201801879


  • Fu S., J. Song, C. Zhu, G.H. Xu, K. Amine, C. Sun, and X. Li, et al. 2018. "Ultrafine and Highly Disordered Ni2Fe1 Nanofoams Enabled Highly Efficient Oxygen Evolution Reaction in Alkaline Electrolyte." Nano Energy 44. PNNL-SA-126521. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2017.12.010
  • Jia H., J. Zheng, J. Song, L. Luo, R. Yi, L. Estevez, and W. Zhao, et al. 2018. "A novel Approach to Synthesize Micrometer-Sized Porous Silicon as a High Performance Anode for Lithium-Ion Batteries." Nano Energy 50. PNNL-SA-131369. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.05.048
  • Mishra K., J. Zheng, R.L. Patel, L. Estevez, H. Jia, L. Luo, and P.Z. El-Khoury, et al. 2018. "High Performance Porous Si@C Anodes Synthesized by Low Temperature Aluminothermic Reaction." Electrochimica Acta 269. PNNL-SA-130364. doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2018.02.166
  • Saurel D., B. Orayech, B. Xiao, D. Carriazo, X. Li, and T. Rojo. 2018. "From charge storage mechanism to performance: A roadmap toward high specific energy sodium-ion batteries through carbon-anode optimization." Advanced Energy Materials 8, no. 17:Article Number 1703268. PNNL-SA-130836. doi:10.1002/aenm.201703268
  • Song J., B. Xiao, Y. Lin, K. Xu, and X. Li. 2018. "Interphases in Sodium-Ion Batteries." Advanced Energy Materials 8, no. 17:Article Number 1703082. PNNL-SA-130469. doi:10.1002/aenm.201703082
  • Yu Z., S. Shang, Y. Gao, D. Wang, X. Li, Z. Liu, and D. Wang. 2018. "A quaternary sodium superionic conductor - Na10.8Sn1.9PS11.8." Nano Energy 47. PNNL-SA-136565. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.01.046


  • Fu S., C. Zhu, J. Song, M.H. Engelhard, X. Li, P. Zhang, and H. Xia, et al. 2017. "Template-Directed Synthesis of Nitrogen- and Sulfur- Codoped Carbon Nanowires Aerogels with Enhanced Electrocatalytic Performance for Oxygen Reduction." Nano Research 10, no. 6:1888-1895. PNNL-SA-123461. doi:10.1007/s12274-016-1371-8
  • Liu B., W. Xu, J. Zheng, P. Yan, E.D. Walter, N.G. Isern, and M.E. Bowden, et al. 2017. "Temperature dependence of the oxygen reduction mechanism in nonaqueous Li-O2 batteries." ACS Energy Letters 2. PNNL-SA-126517. doi:10.1021/acsenergylett.7b00845
  • Soto F.A., P. Yan, M.H. Engelhard, A. Marzouk, C. Wang, G. Xu, and Z. Chen, et al. 2017. "Tuning the Solid Electrolyte Interphase for Selective Li- and Na-Ion Storage in Hard Carbon." Advanced Materials 29, no. 18:Article No. 1606860. PNNL-SA-121033. doi:10.1002/adma.201606860
  • Zhu C., S. Fu, B. Xu, J. Song, Q. Shi, M.H. Engelhard, and X. Li, et al. 2017. "Sugar Blowing-induced Porous Cobalt Phosphide/nitrogen-doped Carbon Nanostructures With Enhanced Electrochemical Oxidation Performance Towards Water And Other Small Molecules." Small 13, no. 33:Article No. 1700796. PNNL-SA-123210. doi:10.1002/smll.201700796
  • Zhu C., S. Fu, J. Song, Q. Shi, D. Su, M.H. Engelhard, and X. Li, et al. 2017. "Self-Assembled Fe-N-Doped Carbon Nanotube Aerogels with Single-Atom Catalysis Feature as Highly Efficient Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysts." Small 13, no. 15:Article No. 1603407. PNNL-SA-119038. doi:10.1002/smll.201603407


  • Cao R., K. Mushra, X. Li, J. Qian, M.H. Engelhard, M.E. Bowden, and K. Han, et al. 2016. "Enabling room temperature sodium metal batteries." Nano Energy 30. PNNL-SA-118713. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.09.013
  • Choi D., X. Li, W.A. Henderson, Q. Huang, S.K. Nune, J.P. Lemmon, and V.L. Sprenkle. 2016. "LiCoPO4 Cathode from a CoHPO4xH2O Nanoplate Precursor for High Voltage Li-ion Batteries." Heliyon 2, no. 2. PNNL-SA-112654. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2016.e00081
  • Fu S., C. Zhu, J. Song, M.H. Engelhard, X. Li, D. Du, and Y. Lin. 2016. "Highly Ordered Mesoporous Bimetallic Phosphides as Efficient Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysts." ACS Energy Letters 4, no. 1:792-796. PNNL-SA-120970. doi:10.1021/acsenergylett.6b00408
  • Jeong S., X. Li, J. Zheng, P. Yan, R. Cao, H. Jung, and C.M. Wang, et al. 2016. "Hard carbon coated nano-Si/graphite composite as a high performance anode for Li-ion batteries." Journal of Power Sources 329. PNNL-SA-116194. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.08.089
  • Li X., P. Yan, M.H. Engelhard, A.J. Crawford, V.V. Viswanathan, C.M. Wang, and J. Liu, et al. 2016. "The Importance of Solid Electrolyte Interphase Formation for Long Cycle Stability Full-Cell Na-Ion Batteries." Nano Energy 27. PNNL-SA-115949. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.07.030
  • Pan H., Y. Shao, P. Yan, Y. Cheng, K. Han, Z. Nie, and C.M. Wang, et al. 2016. "Reversible aqueous zinc/manganese oxide energy storage from conversion reactions." Nature Energy 1, no. 5:Article No. 16039. PNNL-SA-111263. doi:10.1038/nenergy.2016.39
  • Shen F., W. Luo, J. Dai, Y. Yao, M. Zhu, E. Hitz, and Y. Tang, et al. 2016. "Ultra-thick, Low-Tortuosity, and Mesoporous Wood Carbon Anode for High-Performance Sodium-Ion Batteries." Advanced Energy Materials 6, no. 14:Article No. 1600377. PNNL-SA-115345. doi:10.1002/aenm.201600377


  • Chen X., X. Li, D. Mei, J. Feng, M.Y. Hu, J.Z. Hu, and M.H. Engelhard, et al. 2014. "Reduction Mechanism of Fluoroethylene Carbonate for Stable Solid-Electrolyte Interphase Film on Silicon Anode." ChemSusChem 7, no. 2:549-554. PNNL-SA-97198. doi:10.1002/cssc.201300770
  • Huang C., J. Xiao, Y. Shao, J. Zheng, W.D. Bennett, D. Lu, and L.V. Saraf, et al. 2014. "Manipulating the Surface Reactions in Lithium Sulfur Batteries Using Hybrid Anode Structures." Nature Communications 5. PNNL-SA-96417. doi:10.1038/ncomms4015
  • Ji L., M. Gu, Y. Shao, X. Li, M.H. Engelhard, B.W. Arey, and W. Wang, et al. 2014. "Controlling SEI Formation on SnSb-Porous Carbon Nanofibers for Improved Na Ion Storage." Advanced Materials 26, no. 18:2901-2908. PNNL-SA-98915. doi:10.1002/adma.201304962
  • Li X., M. Gu, S.Y. Hu, R. Kennard, P. Yan, X. Chen, and C.M. Wang, et al. 2014. "Mesoporous Silicon Sponge as an Anti-Pulverization Structure for High-Performance Lithium-ion Battery Anodes." Nature Communications 5. PNNL-SA-99356. doi:10.1038/ncomms5105
  • Shao Y., M. Gu, X. Li, Z. Nie, P. Zuo, G. Li, and T.L. Liu, et al. 2014. "Highly Reversible Mg Insertion in Nanostructured Bi for Mg Ion Batteries." Nano Letters 14, no. 1:255-260. PNNL-SA-98801. doi:10.1021/nl403874y
  • Song J., Z. Yu, M. Gordin, S. Hu, R. Yi, D. Tang, and T. Walter, et al. 2014. "Chemically Bonded Phosphorus/Graphene Hybrid as a High Performance Anode for Sodium-Ion Batteries." Nano Letters 14, no. 11:6329-6335. PNNL-SA-109555. doi:10.1021/nl502759z
  • Zhou J., Y. Hu, X. Li, C.M. Wang, and L. Zuin. 2014. "Chemical Bonding In Amorphous Si Coated-carbon Nanotube As Anodes For Li ion Batteries: A XANES Study." RSC Advances 4, no. 39:20226-20229. PNNL-SA-101008. doi:10.1039/c4ra01332h


  • Chen B., W.N. Qi, X. Li, C. Lei, and J. Liu. 2013. "Heated Proteins are Still Active in a Functionalized Nanoporous Support." Small 9, no. 13:2228-2232. PNNL-SA-89038. doi:10.1002/smll.201202409
  • Lei C., B. Chen, X. Li, W.N. Qi, and J. Liu. 2013. "Non-destructively shattered mesoporous silica for protein drug delivery." Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 175. PNNL-SA-91369. doi:10.1016/j.micromeso.2013.03.022
  • Li B., M. Gu, Z. Nie, Y. Shao, Q. Luo, X. Wei, and X. Li, et al. 2013. "Bismuth Nanoparticle Decorating Graphite Felt as a High-Performance Electrode for an All-Vanadium Redox Flow Battery." Nano Letters 13, no. 3:1330-1335. PNNL-SA-92494. doi:10.1021/nl400223v
  • Liu J., J. Zhang, Z. Yang, J.P. Lemmon, C.H. Imhoff, G.L. Graff, and L. Li, et al. 2013. "Materials Science and Materials Chemistry for Large Scale Electrochemical Energy Storage: From Transportation to Electrical Grid." Advanced Functional Materials 23, no. 8:929-946. PNNL-SA-87308. doi:10.1002/adfm.201200690
  • Xiao J., J. Zheng, X. Li, Y. Shao, and J. Zhang. 2013. "Hierarchically Structured Materials for Lithium Batteries." Nanotechnology 24, no. 42:Article No. 424004. PNNL-SA-95453. doi:10.1088/0957-4484/24/42/424004
  • Zhan H., J. Xiao, Z. Nie, X. Li, C.M. Wang, J. Zhang, and J. Liu. 2013. "Nanostructured materials for rechargeable batteries: synthesis, fundamental understanding and limitations." Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering 2, no. 2:151-159. PNNL-SA-92437. doi:10.1016/j.coche.2013.03.007


  • Chen X., X. Li, F. Ding, W. Xu, J. Xiao, Y. Cao, and P. Meduri, et al. 2012. "Conductive Rigid Skeleton Supported Silicon as High-Performance Li-Ion Battery Anodes." Nano Letters 12, no. 8:4124-4130. PNNL-SA-87678. doi:10.1021/nl301657y
  • Ding F., W. Xu, D. Choi, W. Wang, X. Li, M.H. Engelhard, and X. Chen, et al. 2012. "Enhanced performance of graphite anode materials by AlF3 coating for lithium-ion batteries." Journal of Materials Chemistry 22, no. 25:12745-12751. PNNL-SA-85418. doi:10.1039/c2jm31015e
  • Gu M., Y. Li, X. Li, S.Y. Hu, X. Zhang, W. Xu, and S. Thevuthasan, et al. 2012. "In-Situ TEM Study Of Lithiation Behavior Of Silicon Nanoparticles Attached To And Embedded In A Carbon Matrix." ACS Nano 6, no. 9:8439-8447. PNNL-SA-89376. doi:10.1021/nn303312m
  • Li J., K. Zhu, J. Shang, D. Wang, Z. Nie, R. Guo, and C. Liu, et al. 2012. "Fluorescent Functionalized Mesoporous Silica for Radioactive Material Extraction." Separation Science and Technology 47, no. 10:1507-1513. PNNL-SA-84808.
  • Li X., P. Meduri, X. Chen, W.N. Qi, M.H. Engelhard, W. Xu, and F. Ding, et al. 2012. "Hollow Core-Shell Structured Porous Si-C Nanocomposites for Li-Ion Battery Anodes." Journal of Materials Chemistry 22, no. 22:11014-11017. PNNL-SA-85843. doi:10.1039/C2JM31286G
  • Li X., W.N. Qi, D. Mei, M.L. Sushko, I.A. Aksay, and J. Liu. 2012. "Functionalized Graphene Sheets as Molecular Templates for Controlled Nucleation and Self-Assembly of Metal Oxide-Graphene Nanocomposites." Advanced Materials 24, no. 37:5136-5141. PNNL-SA-85708. doi:10.1002/adma.201202189
  • Wang C.M., X. Li, Z. Wang, W. Xu, J. Liu, F. Gao, and L. Kovarik, et al. 2012. "In Situ TEM Investigation of Congruent Phase Transition and Structural Evolution of Nanostructured Silicon/Carbon Anode for Lithium Ion Batteries." Nano Letters 12, no. 3:1624-1632. PNNL-SA-84904. doi:10.1021/nl204559u
  • Wen Q., X. Li, B. Chen, P. Yao, C. Lei, and J. Liu. 2012. "Intramesoporous Silica Structure Differentiating Protein Loading Density." Materials Letters 75. PNNL-SA-81847. doi:10.1016/j.matlet.2012.01.128
  • Yu Y., B. Chen, W.N. Qi, X. Li, Y. Shin, C. Lei, and J. Liu. 2012. "Enzymatic Conversion of CO2 to Bicarbonate in Functionalized Mesoporous Silica." Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 153. PNNL-SA-73485. doi:10.1016/j.micromeso.2011.12.005
  • Zhang J., W. Wang, J. Xiao, W. Xu, G.L. Graff, Z. Yang, and D. Choi, et al. 2012. "Silicon Based Anodes for Li-Ion Batteries." In Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology. New York, New York:Springer. PNNL-SA-75702.


  • Cao Y., X. Li, I.A. Aksay, J.P. Lemmon, Z. Nie, Z. Yang, and J. Liu. 2011. "Sandwich-Type Functionalized Graphene Sheet-Sulfur Nanocomposite for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP 13, no. 17:7660-7665. PNNL-SA-75759. doi:10.1039/C0CP02477E
  • Li X., Y. Cao, W.N. Qi, L.V. Saraf, J. Xiao, Z. Nie, and J. Mietek, et al. 2011. "Optimization of mesoporous carbon structures for lithium-sulfur battery applications." Journal of Materials Chemistry 21, no. 41:16603-16610. PNNL-SA-80584. doi:10.1039/C1JM12979A
  • Xiao J., D. Mei, X. Li, W. Xu, D. Wang, G.L. Graff, and W.D. Bennett, et al. 2011. "Hierarchically Porous Graphene as a Lithium-Air Battery Electrode." Nano Letters 11, no. 11:5071-5078. PNNL-SA-77006. doi:10.1021/nl203332e


  • Li J., J. Liu, D. Wang, R. Guo, X. Li, and W.N. Qi. 2010. "Interfacially Controlled Synthesis of Hollow Mesoporous Silica Spheres with Radially Oriented Pore Structures." Langmuir 26, no. 14:12267-12272. PNNL-SA-73015. doi:10.1021/la101225j
  • Xiao J., W. Xu, D. Wang, D. Choi, W. Wang, X. Li, and G.L. Graff, et al. 2010. "Stabilization of Silicon Anode for Li-Ion Batteries." Journal of the Electrochemical Society 157, no. 10:A1047-A1051. PNNL-SA-72047. doi:10.1149/1.3464767

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