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

We have openings for postdoc positions in redox flow batteries, including membrane synthesis, mechanistic work,  and spectroscopy. See the Openings section. Position 1: membrane synthesis (see pdf). Position 2: chemistry of inorganic redox flow batteries (see pdf).

Follow the group news in our Twitter account.

See News Archive and Group Events for all news.


  • [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.


  • [September] The group welcomes Mohamad Chabok as a master student.
  • [August] Congratulations to former PhD student, Weiyan Ni, for winning the EPFL Chorafas Award. This is a prestigious award to distinguish innovative and high level doctoral research. Only two awards are given every year.
  • [August] The group welcomes Uttam Dhawa as a postdoc.
  • [July] The group welcomes Ivan Buslov as a postdoc.
  • [March] The group welcomes Jennifer Morel as an apprentice.
  • [February] Congratulations to Albert Daubry who has just successfully complete his public presentation of PhD work and received his PhD degree.
  • [February] The lab welcomes Dr. Yiwei Zheng as a new postdoc and Ms. Ariana Serban as a new PhD student.

Selected Recent Publications

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Mao, R.; Frey, A.; Balon, J.; Hu, X.L.*
Decarboxylative C(sp3)-N Cross Coupling via Synergetic Photoredox and Copper Catalysis
Nature Catalysis 2018, 1, 120-126.