Erik Spoerke


Erik Spoerke, Ph.D.

Materials Scientist, Battery Materials Lead

Contact Information

Erik Spoerke, Ph.D. / (505) 284-1932


Erik D. Spoerke, Ph.D. is the Energy Storage Materials Thrust Lead in Sandia National Laboratories’ Grid Energy Storage Program, a Principal R&D Materials Scientist in the Electronic, Optical, and Nano Materials Department at Sandia, and a Research Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Erik’s widely published and patented research efforts span a diverse materials portfolio, with an emphasis on combining elements of chemistry, materials science and biology to explore and develop functional materials ranging from novel electrochemical materials to synthetic biological analogs and functional supramolecular thin films. He has a passion for energy-related related research, including a wide range of battery-based and other energy storage technologies, particularly for grid-scale and long-duration applications. He currently serves on the DOE Energy Storage Grand Challenge National Laboratory Leadership Team, working to support the advance of reliable and sustainable domestic energy storage, and he is active in several other NM-based and national efforts to drive sustainable, clean energy initiatives.

Research Interests

Energy Storage Materials Science – particularly related to batteries (e.g., Na-batteries) and Long-Duration Energy Storage

Ionic Materials

Bio-inspired Materials – particularly supramolecular and peptide-based materials

Renewable Energy

Materials for Sustainability, Decarbonization, and Energy Efficiency

Multidisciplinary/Hybrid/Composite Materials


Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), 2003

B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), 1998

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Erik Spoerke, Ph.D.

Key Publications

M.M. Gross, S.J. Percival, R.Y. Lee, A.S. Peretti, E.D. Spoerke L.J. Small A High Voltage, Low Temperature Molten Sodium Battery Enabled by Molten Halide Catholyte Chemistry (2021) Cell Rep. Phys. Sci. 2 (7), 100489. DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrp.2021.100489.

M.M. Gross, S.J. Percival, L.J. Small, J. Lamb, A.S. Peretti, E.D. Spoerke Low Temperature Molten Sodium Batteries (2020) ACS Appl. Energy Mater. (2020) 3 (11), 11456-11462.

M.M. Gross, L.J. Small, A.S. Peretti, S.J. Percival, M. Rodriguez, E.D. Spoerke Tin-Based Ionic Chaperone Phases to Improve Low Temperature Molten Sodium-NaSICON Interfaces (2020) J. Mater. Chem. A. 8, 17012-17018.

E. Allcorn, G. Nagasubramanian, H.D. Pratt III, E.D. Spoerke, D. Ingersoll Elimination of active species crossover in a room temperature, neutral pH, aqueous flow battery using a ceramic NaSICON membrane (2018) J. Power Sources. 378, 353-361.

L.J. Small, A. Eccleston, J. Lamb, A.C. Read, M. Robins, T. Meaders, D. Ingersoll, P.G. Clem, S. Bhavaraju, E.D. Spoerke Next Generation Molten NaI Batteries for Grid Scale Energy Storage (2017) J. Power Sources. 360, 569-574.

P. Lu, P. Yan, E. Romero, E.D. Spoerke, J-G Zhang, and C. Wang Observation of Electron-Beam-Induced Phase Evolution Mimicking the Effect of the Charge-Discharge Cycle in Li-Rich Layered Cathode Materials Used for Li Ion Batteries (2015) Chem. Mater. 27 (4), 1375-1380.

Key Patents

E.D. Spoerke, M.M. Gross, S.J. Percival, L.J. Small Sodium Electrochemical Interfaces with NaSICON-Type Ceramics U.S. Patent Appl. No.: 17/104,306, Nov. 25, 2020.

L.J. Small, S.J. Percival, and E.D. Spoerke Nanostructured Polyelectrolytes for Ion-Selective Membranes U.S. Patent No.: 10,766,005, Sept. 8, 2020.

E.D. Spoerke, S.J. Percival, and L.J. Small Molten Inorganic Electrolytes for Low Temperature Sodium Batteries U.S. Patent Appl. No.: 16/564,751, September 9, 2019.

E.D. Spoerke, P.G. Clem, J.S. Wheeler, L.J. Small, J. Ihlefeld Cation-Enhanced Chemical Stability of Ion-Conducting Zirconium-Based Ceramics U.S. Patent No.: 9,988,312 B2, June 5, 2018.

E.D. Spoerke, M.E. Gordon, E.J. Schindelholz, K.M. Armijo, N.R. Sorensen, A. Martino, J.C. Grunlan Nanocomposite Barrier Films for Photovoltaic Applications U.S. Patent No.: 10,002,983 B1, June 19, 2018.

E.D. Spoerke, J. Ihlefeld, K. Waldrip, J.S. Wheeler, H.J. Brown-Shaklee, L.J. Small, D.R. Wheeler Electrochemical Ion Separation in Molten Salts U.S. Patent No.: 9,847,149 B2, Dec. 19, 2017.