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Dr. Haixuan Xu


Early Career Awards from the Department of Energy.

Assistant professors Haixuan Xu and David Donovan, both previous participants in the Science Alliance JDRD program, will receive $750,000 over the course of 5 years to fund their research.

Xu’s research focuses on structural materials for nuclear energies, while Donovan’s work is in the area of nuclear fusion. The grants will also help to support graduate students and post-docs working with the faculty members.



Proposal DiagramPoint defects are irregularities found within a lattice structure. These defects don’t carry the weight of a negative connotation, but rather they present an opportunity for study. According to Xu, the presence of point defects significantly affects the unusual properties displayed by the oxides, and lacking a fundamental understanding of the effect of point defect dynamics limits the ability to generate particular properties within the interfaces.

The applications for the materials discovered during the course of this necessary foundational research is applicable to a variety of areas, including battery performance, ballistic protection, and new forms of electronics.

Currently in its second year, Xu’s project has already yielded one significant publication with several more in progress. Ultimately, Xu hopes his work positions UT for many future research endeavors with the Materials Genome Initiative and other sponsored programs.

Research JDRD funded 1/1/2014-12/31/2015