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Professor Zhi-Xun Shen

Prof. Zhi-Xun Shen

Paul Pigott Professor in Physical Sciences of Stanford University

Dr. Shen is the Paul Pigott Professor in Physical Sciences, and a senior fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University. He is also the Advisor for Science and Technology of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Joint Center of Energy Storage Research (JCESR).


Dr. Shen's main research interest lies in the area of condensed matter and materials physics, as well as the energy applications of materials and devices. He has created a body of literature that advanced our understanding of materials related to basic energy sciences, including the physics of superconductors, oxides, semiconductors, novel magnets, density wave materials, topological insulators, novel carbon, and electron emitters. He has more than 400 publications, an H citation index of 81, and six of his papers identified by the citation tracking algorithm of the Institute for Scientific Information as among the most cited recent papers in its periodic surveys. His works have been featured as covers of the most important physics journals - Physical Review Letters, Physics Today, Physics World, and Review of Modern Physics.

Honors & Awards

Dr. Shen's work has been recognized by important awards, including the Centennial Lecture of the American Physical Society, the Kamerlingh Onne Prize (international prize on superconductivity); the E.O. Lawrence Award (Department of Energy award); the Oliver E. Buckley Prize (condensed matter prize of the American Physical Society); Einstein Professorship (Chinese Academy of Sciences). In 2015, Dr. Shen was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. His works have also been featured in public media, such as ABC Evening News, Washington Post, and National Public Radio.

Students & Postdocs

Dr. Shen has mentored more than fifty graduate students and postdoctoral associates over the last two decades. They are part of the highly skilled scientific personnel for research institutes and industry. About thirty of them are now faculty members of research universities in North America, Asia and Europe. More than a dozen become core staff of technology companies and national laboratories and research institutes. About ten started their own companies, worked as venture capitalists or executives of PE/financial firms and national professional societies.


Dr. Shen has been a co-inventor of numerous patents. The non-resonance microwave imaging technology invented in his group is seeing a range of applications in materials, and earned the Takeda Foundation Techno-Entrepreneurship Award. For his materials science work and co-invention of the photon-enhanced thermionic emission (PETE) device concept, he is recognized as a Finalist for Energy Technology by World Technology Network in 2010.

Brief Bio

Dr. Shen received his B.S. degree from Fudan University (1983), M.S. degree from Rutgers University (1985), and Ph.D. degree from Stanford University (1989). He served as the Chief Scientist of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (2010-2012), and the first Director of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (2006-2011). He was the Director of the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (2004-2007). He was a member (and vice chair of 2001-2002) of the Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee of the US Department of Energy (1997-2002).