Resonate Award recipient for developing abundant and non-precious metal catalysts for sustainable synthesis of added-value chemicals and cost-effective production of solar fuels
Xile Hu is a Professor of Chemistry in the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He is the founder and director of the Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Catalysis. His laboratory specializes in the development of catalysts made of earth-abundant elements for chemical transformations pertinent to synthesis, energy, and sustainability.
Hu was born in a small village in Putian, southeastern China. He studied chemistry at Peking University (BS, 2000). Shortly thereafter, he moved to the United States and began his doctoral study under the guidance of Prof. Karsten Meyer at the University of California, San Diego. After receiving a PhD in inorganic chemistry (2004), he became a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Prof. Jonas C. Peters at Caltech, where he worked on the development of molecular hydrogen evolution catalysts.
Xile is known for creatively applying his knowledge of inorganic chemistry to significant problems in electrocatalysis and solar energy. He has discovered many new classes of catalysts and established a highly innovative, visible and impactful research program. His group is unifying concepts and methods in homogeneous, heterogeneous, and enzyme catalysis to obtain new fundamental understanding of catalysis as well as catalysts with superior properties to those in current use.