Gao Liu

Gao Liu

Leader: Liu Lab
Leader: Applied Energy Materials Group
Chemist Senior Scientist/Engineer
(510) 486-7207


Materials and assembly for Lithium-ion chemistry has been a practical and intriguing field to study. The development of materials for energy applications requires mastery of material chemistry, as well as in-depth knowledge of system requirements, and my laboratory combines synthetic chemistry, composite engineering and electrochemistry to solve interdisciplinary problems. My lab’s current research in battery and energy storage includes silicon materials and electrode binders for advanced lithium-ion battery, lithium-sulfur battery, solid-state battery, and electrode interfaces. One focus of our research is to synthesize new materials and develop new assembly approaches to improve the energy density, increase life, and lower the cost of  lithium-ion batteries for vehicular applications. My lab also performs research in hydrogen generation, plastic recycling, and advanced manufacturing.

Research Interests

  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery: advanced electrode design and formulation, silicon-based anode materials, electrode binder design and synthesis, electrolyte and additives

  • Lithium-sulfur battery: advanced sulfur electrode design, novel amphiphilic electrolyte and lithium metal anode protections 

  • Solid-state rechargeable battery: novel composite ion conductor and cathode electrode design, and scalable processing

  • Circular economy: environmentally friendly up-recycling of polymeric materials

  • Materials for climate resilience: smart materials to mitigate human suffering of extreme heat, flooding and forest fires

  • Biocompatible materials and biologically-inspired materials

  • Expertise in organic and polymer synthesis, and polymer composite technology: development of new polymers, composite materials and structures; study structure-function relationship between materials and interfaces to understand their fundamental properties in systems; application of broad-based knowledge of the composite system to improve the energy and materials performance in the field

Professional Experience

  • 2021-present: Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • 2015-present: Group Leader, Applied Energy Materials Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • 2010-2021: Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • 2004-present: Principal Investigator, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • 2003-2010: Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • 2001-2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Media Coverage

  • Seeing ‘Under the Hood’ in Batteries, Science Daily, SciTechDaily, Newswise and Newsdesk and a few other news media highlight Dr. Liu’s collaborative work with Dr. Wangli Yang. 2020
  • Material Discovery Makes Lithium-Sulfur Batteries More Sustainable, LBNL Energy Technology Area highlights Dr. Liu’s collaborative work with Dr. Robert Kostecki, 2020
  • A Seaweed Derivative Could Be Just What Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Need, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory homepage and newsletters highlighted Dr. Liu’s recent work on Li-S battery. Many news media outlets covered this report2, 2017
  • New binders lead to better batteries for electric vehicles Citing Dr. Liu’s expert opinion on battery materials, C&EN magazine, The ACS news magazine, 2017
  • Energy Focus: Ultrathin protecting layer enhances lithium-sulfur battery stability Citing Dr. Liu’s expert opinion on Li-S battery, MRS Bulletin, The MRS news magazine, 2017
  • This Silicon Valley startup is headed to China to make its batteries Citing Dr. Liu’s expert opinion on battery materials, Fortune Magazine, 2015
  • The Search for Better Batteries, Innovation magazine, 2015
  • Silicon Binder-Boosted Batteries, R&D Magazine, 2013
  • Smartphone Batteries: When Will They Last Longer? Cited Dr. Liu’s technology and expert opinion. The BBC News, 2012
  • 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, Physics Inventions, Innovation Toronto and several other news outlets, 2011
  • 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, 2009
  • 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 other news outlets, 2008
  • Need for Battery Power Runs Into Basic Hurdles of Science cited Dr. Liu’s expert opinion. The New York Times, 2006

Conference Organization

  • Initiator and organizer, Distinguished Lecture Series for the Electrochemical Society, San Francisco Section, 2020

  • Member of the organization committee, Beyond Lithium-Ion conferences, 2011-present

  • Co-organizer, Energy Technology Area Seminar Series, University of California Berkeley  Mechanical Engineering Department in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA, 2016-2019

  • Chair, 3rd Bay Area Battery Summit, Berkeley, CA, USA, October, 2018

  • Co-Chair, The 3rd International Symposium on Renewable Energy Technologies, Goldcoast, Australia, June 2018

  • Co-Chair,  The 2nd International Symposium on Renewable Energy Technologies, Sydney, Australia, Dec 2016

  • Organization committee member, The US-China Battery Workshop, Berkeley, 2014-2016

  • Organizer and Chair, The Materials for Vehicular and Grid Energy Storage Symposium of the 2013 Materials Research Society (MRS) spring meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA, April, 2013

  • Organizer and Chair, The Lithium-Ion Battery Symposium of the 2009 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference, Dearborn Michigan, August, 2009


  • Outstanding Performance Award, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,  2005

  • Spot Recognition Award, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2005

  • Walter and Margaret Yates Memorial Scholarship, Michigan State University, 2000

  • Graduate Office Fellowship, Chemistry Department, Michigan State University, 2000

  • Teaching Assistant Merit Award, Michigan State University (1999-2001)