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Energy and Environment Directorate

Xia Cao

Xia Cao

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 372-6977


Dr. Xia Cao is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Energy and Environmental Directorate at PNNL. She has extensive experience in the development of electrolytes for different battery chemisities, including lithium ion, sodium ion, dual-ion and lithium metal batteries. She is working on electrolytes and electrode/electrolyte interphase understandings for Lithium metal/ion batteries to enable long-term cycling of batteries.

Research Interests

  • Functional electrolytes and additives
  • Electrode/electrolyte interphases
  • Battery safety

Education and Credentials

  • PhD, Physical Chemistry, University of Münster, Münster, Germany, 2017
  • MS, Physical Chemistry, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China, 2013

PNNL Publications


  • Peng Z., X. Cao, P. Gao, H. Jia, X. Ren, S. Roy, and Z. Li, et al. 2020. "High-Power Lithium Metal Batteries Enabled by High-Concentration Acetonitrile-Based Electrolytes with Vinylene Carbonate Additive." Advanced Functional Materials 30, no. 24:2001285. PNNL-SA-149736. doi:10.1002/adfm.202001285
  • Wang H., X. Cao, H. Gu, Y. Liu, Y. Li, Z. Zhang, and W. Huang, et al. 2020. "Improving Lithium Metal Composite Anodes with Seeding and Pillaring Effects of Silicon Nanoparticles." ACS Nano 14, no. 4:4601-4608. PNNL-SA-150465. doi:10.1021/acsnano.0c00184
  • 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


  • Cao X., X. Ren, L. Zou, M.H. Engelhard, W. Huang, H. Wang, and B.E. Matthews, et al. 2019. "Monolithic solid-electrolyte interphases formed in fluorinated orthoformate-based electrolytes minimize Li depletion and pulverization." Nature Energy 4, no. 9:796-805. PNNL-SA-141828. doi:10.1038/s41560-019-0464-5
  • 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
  • Ren X., L. Zou, X. Cao, M.H. Engelhard, W. Liu, S.D. Burton, and H. Lee, et al. 2019. "Enabling High-Voltage Lithium-Metal Batteries under Practical Conditions." Joule 3, no. 7:1662-1676. PNNL-SA-140396. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2019.05.006
  • Zheng Y., F.A. Soto, V. Ponce, J. Seminario, X. Cao, J. Zhang, and P.B. Balbuena. 2019. "Localized High Concentration Electrolyte Behavior near a Lithium-Metal Anode Surface." Journal of Materials Chemistry A 7, no. 43:25047-25055. PNNL-SA-148417. doi:10.1039/C9TA08935G

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas