Gao Liu

Chemist Senior Scientist/Engineer
(510) 486-7207

The development of materials for energy application requires mastery of material chemistry as well as in depth knowledge of the system requirements. Materials and assembly for the Lithium-ion chemistry has been a practical and intriguing field to study. The main focus of my research is to synthesize new materials and develop new assembly approaches to improve the energy density, increase life, and lower cost of the lithium-ion battery for the vehicular applications. I lead the conductive polymer binder for Si electrode project within the BMR Program. I am also part of the team developing the Lithium-ion Cell Fabrication and Testing Procedures at LBNL. I co-developed triethyleneoxide based solid-polymer electrolyte during my Postdoctoral training period, and worked on polyethyleneoxide based polymer electrolyte in my Ph.D. research. Aside from lithium-ion battery research, I also collaborate with researchers in the field of Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED), biocompatible materials and biological inspired systems.

Research Interests

  1. Lithium-ion rechargeable battery: advanced electrode design and formulation, silicon based anode materials, electrode binder design and synthesis, electrolyte and additives.
  2. Organic light emitting diode (OLED): Light emitting polymer design and synthesis, device assembly and testing, layer and interface diagnostics with FIB and TEM techniques.
  3. Bio-compatible materials and biological inspired materials
  4. Expertise in organic and polymer synthesis, and polymer composite technology for advanced energy systems. Develop new polymers, composite materials and structures, and perform structure-function relationship study of the materials and interfaces to understand their fundamental properties in the energy conversion systems. Apply this broad based knowledge of the composite system to improve the performance of energy conversion systems.

Professional Experience

Principal Investigator U.S. DOE Battery for Advanced Transportation Technologies Program (BATT) and Solid-State Lighting Program (SSL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (06-present)

Scientist Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division, Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (2003-present)

Post Doctoral Fellow Electrochemistry Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (2001-03)

Advisor/Consultant Large Energy Storage Group, Applied Materials Inc. (2008-present)

Advisory Board Member Zeptor Co. (2011-present)

Technical advisor and collaborator for General Motors, The Dow Chemical Company, 3M and many other leading global companies since 2001

Honors and Awards

  1. Third Prize, Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative Innovation Expo Poster Session, Oct. 2012
  2. University of California Discovery Grant, 2011
  3. Best Poster Paper Award at the 14th International Meeting on Lithium Batteries, China, 2008
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Outstanding Performance Award, 2005
  5. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Spot Recognition Award, 2005
  6. Walter and Margaret Yates Memorial Scholarship, Michigan State University, 2000
  7. Graduate Office Fellowship, Chemistry Department, Michigan State University, 2000
  8. Merit Award Teaching Assistant, Michigan State University (1999-2001)

Media Coverage

  1. Need for Battery Power Runs Into Basic Hurdles of Science cited Dr. Liu's expert opinion. The New York Times, Aug. 2006.
  2. High Performance Lithium Battery Anodes Using Silicon Nanowires Liu's collaborative work with Professor Yi Cui at Stanford University was widely reported in Yahoo! Tech News, MIT Technology Review, ScienceNOW, RSC, Stanford Report, and several more news outlets, Jan. 2008.
  3. A Business Plan for America's Energy Future highlighted Dr. Liu's research work. This document was submitted to The White House (U.S. President Office) by American Energy Innovation Council, Sept. 2009.
  4. Polymers with Tailored Electronic Structure for High Capacity Lithium Battery Electrodes Liu's research work was widely reported in Chemistry Times, PhysOrg, Science News, Green Car Congress, Materials Today, Materialsgate, Media Newswire, Nano Patents and Innovations, Nowa, Sciencenewsline Physics & Chemistry, Chemeurope, Physicsinventions, Innovationtoronto and serval more news outlets, Oct. 2011.
  5. Smartphone batteries: When will they last longer? Cited Dr. Liu's technology and expert opinion. The BBC News, Feb. 2012.

Conference Organization

  1. Organizer and Chair of the lithium-ion battery symposium of the 2009 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference in Dearborn Michigan in Aug. 2009.
  2. Organizing committee member and section chair for the Symposium on Scalable Energy Storage: Beyond Lithium Ion III: Materials Perspectives at Oakridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, Oct. 7-8, 2010.
  3. Organizing committee member for the 4th Symposium on Energy Storage: Beyond Lithium Ion at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, June 7-9, 2011.
  4. Organizer and Chair of the Materials for Vehicular and Grid Energy Storage Symposium of the 2013 Materials Research Society (MRS) spring meeting in San Francisco, Apr. 2013.