Bonjour et bienvenue! Our main research goal is to develop catalysts that are made of Earth-abundant elements for chemical transformations relevant to synthesis, energy, and sustainability. Towards this goal, we currently focus on base metal catalyzed organic synthesis, artificial enzymes, biocatalysis, electrochemical water splitting and CO2 reduction, fuel cell catalysis, as well as anion exchange membrane-based energy devices.

Check out our publications for the latest research results.

EPFL Master students: Please follow the guideline in this file when applying for any projects.

Latest News

(New) We have openings for postdoc positions in the development of ionic membranes for electrochemical energy storage devices. (see pdf).

Follow the group news in our Twitter account.

See News Archive and Group Events for all news.


  • [February] The lab welcomes Dr. Damien Dégoulange as a new Postdoc. Damien just received his PhD in electrochemistry at Sorbonne University. 


  • [October] The lab welcomes Jiaming Tian, a recent EPFL master graduate, as a Phd student. 
  • [September] The lab welcomes Milena and Pol as master students.
  • [August] Prof. Hu has been awarded the IUPAC-ZHEJIANG NHU International Award for Green Chemistry in the category of experienced chemist. See also EPFL news.
  • [July] Prof. Hu has been awarded the Robert K. Grasselli Award for Catalysis by the European Federation of Catalysis Societies. See also EPFL news.
  • [July] We welcome Dr. Andrit Allushi as a new postdoc to the group. Andrit received his PhD in Polymer Technology from Lund University in Sweden.
  • [June] Congratulations to Céline Prange for winning a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoc Mobility Fellowship, to support her upcoming postdoc work in Stanford University.

  • [June] Congratulations to Céline Prange for successfully defended her thesis in public. She is now Dr. Prange!
  • [April] Congratulations to Xingyu Wu for successfully defended his thesis in public. He is now Dr. Wu.
  • [March] The group welcomes Jiaming Tian and Laura Elena Massard for master projects.
  • [January] A spin-off from our Lab, NovaMea SA, has been lauched! The company will develop anion exchange membrane water electrolyzers with technologies licensed from our lab.

Selected Recent Publications

1.Srikrishna Bera, Chao Fan, Xile Hu*
Enantio- and diastereoselective construction of vicinal C(sp3) centres via nickel-catalysed hydroalkylation of alkenes
Nature Catalysis 2022, 5, 1180-1187.

2. Jun Gu, Shuo Liu, Weiyan Ni, Wenhao Ren, Sophia Haussener, Xile Hu*
Modulating Electric Field Distribution by Alkali Cations for CO2 Electroreduction in Strongly Acidic Medium
Nature Catalysis, 2022, 5, 268-276.

3. Weiyan Ni, Teng Wang, Florent E. Héroguel, Anna Krammer, Seunghwa Lee, Liang Yao, Andreas Schüler, Jeremy S. Luterbacher, Yushan Yan,* and Xile Hu*
An efficient nickel hydrogen oxidation catalyst for hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells
Nature Materials 2022, 21, 804-810.

4. Xingyu Wu, Nanjun Chen, Harm-Anton Klok, Young Moo Lee,* Xile Hu*
Branched Poly(aryl piperidinium) Membranes for Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2022, e202114892.

5. Lichen Bai, Chia-Shuo Hsu, Duncan Alexander, Hao Ming Chen,* Xile Hu*
Double-Atom Catalysts as a Molecular Platform for Heterogeneous Oxygen Evolution
Nature Energy 2021, 6, 1054–1066.

6. Runze Mao, Srikrishna Bera, Aurélya Christelle Turla, and Xile Hu*
Copper-Catalyzed Intermolecular Functionalization of Unactivated C(sp3)–H Bonds and Aliphatic Carboxylic Acids
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2021, 143, 14667–14675.

7. Srikrishna Bera, Runze Mao, Xile Hu*
Enantioselective C(sp3)–C(sp3) Cross-Coupling of Non-activated Alkyl Electrophiles via Nickel Hydride Catalysis
Nature Chemistry 2021, 13, 270-277.

8. Aliki Moysiadou, Seunghwa Lee, Chia-Shuo Hsu, Haoming Chen, Xile Hu*
Mechanism of Oxygen Evolution Catalyzed by Cobalt Oxyhydroxide: Cobalt Superoxide Species as a Key Intermediate and Dioxygen Release as a Rate-Determining Step
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2020, 142, 11901–11914.

9. Huijie Pan, Xile Hu*
Biomimetic hydrogenation catalyzed by a manganese model of [Fe]‐hydrogenase
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2020, 59, 4942-4946

10. Jun Gu, Chia-Shuo Hsu, Lichen Bai, Hao Ming Chen*, and Xile Hu*
Atomically dispersed Fe3+ sites catalyze efficient CO2 electroreduction to CO
Science, 2019, 364, 1091-1094.

11. Hui-Jie Pan, Gangfeng Huang, Matthew D. Wodrich, Farzaneh Fadaei Tirani, Kenichi Ataka, Seigo Shima* and Xile Hu*
A catalytically active [Mn]-hydrogenase incorporating a non-native metal cofactor
Nature Chemistry 2019, 11, 669-675.

12. Shi, R.; Zhang, Z.; Hu, X.L.*
Nickamine and Analogous Nickel Pincer Catalysts for Cross-Coupling of Alkyl Halides and Hydrosilylation of Alkenes
Accounts of Chemical Research 2019, 52, 1471-1483.

13. Song, F.; Busch, M.; Lassalle-Kaiser, B.; Hsu, C-S.; Petkucheva, E.; Bensimon, M.; Chen, H.M.;* Corminboeuf, C.*; Hu, X.L.*
An Unconventional Iron Nickel Catalyst for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction
ACS Central Science, 2019, 5, 558-568.

14. Zhang, L.; Liardet, L.; Luo, J.S.; Ren, D. ; Grätzel, M.; Hu, X.L.*
Photoelectrocatalytic Arene C-H Amination
Nature Catalysis 2019, 2, 366-373.

15. Seunghwa Lee, Karla Banjac, Magali Lingenfelder, Xile Hu*
Oxygen Isotope Labelling Experiments Reveal Different Reaction Sites for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction on Nickel and Nickel Iron Oxides
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2019, 58, 10295-10299.