HZB postdoctoral researcher receives Humboldt Fellowship

Dr. Yaolin Xu, postdoctoral researcher at HZB

Dr. Yaolin Xu, postdoctoral researcher at HZB © Swantje Furtak/HZB

Since September 2019, Yaolin Xu is doing research on the development of advanced lithium batteries with a Humboldt Foundation fellowship. In the future, these batteries could store significantly more energy than conventional lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).

Compared to LIBs, lithium-sulfur batteries greatly reduce the materials cost while offering an energy density increase by a factor of 10. However, during the charge and discharge process in lithium-sulfur batteries undesirable effects occur. The lithium does not deposit uniformly on the anode (negative electrode), but grows in the form of tree-like structures (dendrites). These morphological changes in the anode not only limit the battery life, but could also trigger short circuits.

Yaolin Xu's project focuses on the development of stable lithium anodes. He studies liquid metal alloys at room temperature to minimize dendrite formation. Through the Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, Xu receives financial support to stabilize this battery cycling.

Since October 2018, Yaolin Xu has been conducting research at the Institute for Soft Matter and Functional Materials at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. Previously, he has obtained his PhD in high-performance LIBs and sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Moreover, Yaolin Xu also received the "Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad" in 2018 as recognition of his research excellence.

(Swantje Furtak)