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Kang Xu graduated with a BSc in Chemistry (Southwest University, China), MSc in Polymer Chemistry (Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Academy of Sciences, China) and PhD in Chemistry (Arizona State University, USA). He is currently a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society, a Laboratory Fellow of the US Army Research Laboratory, Team Leader of Aqueous Electrochemistry at the US Army Research Laboratory and an Adjunct Professor at University of Maryland College Park.

He has been carrying out research on electrolyte materials and interphasial chemistry for over 30 years. His representative research studies include the design and synthesis of new electrolyte materials (solvents, lithium salts, additives, non-flammable electrolytes) and understanding fundamental interfacial and interphasial processes and chemistries. His reports on super-concentrated aqueous electrolytes, battery chemistries and related studies on interphases (Science, 2015, 2021 and 2022, and Nature, 2019) were considered trailblazing.


Taken on 6th August 2022, during the writing of this book.

Photo credit: Janet S. Ho.

Among his 300+ publications, 25 patents and five books and book chapters, he is best known by young scientists new to the fields of batteries and materials for his two comprehensive review articles published in Chemical Reviews in 2004 and 2014, respectively, which have been regarded as desktop references by researchers around the world. His historical accounts on the development of lithium-ion batteries and materials (Chemical Reviews in 2018 and Nature Energy in 2021) were believed to be the most impartial and accurate recordings of the events. Since 2020 he has been considered one of the 0.1% “highly cited authors” around the world by Clarivate®, and one of the top 0.05% most influential scientists as evaluated by The Standardized Citation Metrics Author Database Annotated for Scientific Field published by Stanford University.

Among his multiple recognitions and awards, he was the recipient of the 2015 Invention of the Year Award of the University of Maryland, the 2017 International Battery Association Technology Award, the 2017 Scientist-of-the-Quarter by the US Department of Defense and the 2018 Electrochemical Society Battery Division Research Award.

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