Yi Cui will receive E.O. Lawrence Award

YI CUI, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and of photon science at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will receive the DOE’s Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, which honors mid-career scientists and engineers in eight research fields.

Yi Cui
Yi Cui

Cui is also a senior fellow and the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

Award recipients will receive a medal and a $20,000 honorarium, and will be honored at a virtual ceremony broadcast from Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19.

“These researchers have made significant advances and contributions across a broad range of disciplines critical to Energy Department missions,” said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette in announcing the award. “We congratulate them on their many accomplishments and look forward to their achievements in the coming years.”

A pioneer in developing clean-energy technology, Cui is being honored for his “insightful introduction of nanosciences in battery research,” the announcement said, adding, “His multiple innovative ideas have transformed the battery field in a very impactful way and enabled new types of high energy density batteries and low-cost energy storage solutions.”

The DOE cited Cui’s research on developing new electrode materials that can store 10 times more charge in a given volume, including silicon anodes, lithium-metal anodes and sulfur cathodes, which has reinvigorated battery research. Cui was also the first to develop cryogenic electron microscopy techniques for studying battery materials, including a study that captured the first atomic-level images of finger-like growths called dendrites that can pierce the barrier between battery compartments and trigger short circuits or fires.

“I feel humbled to receive this honor,” Cui said. “I would like to thank my students, collaborators, colleagues and mentors, and also thank the DOE for its long-term support of my research program. I hope to continue to help building the sustainable energy future.”