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Professor Zhi-Xun Shen

Prof. Zhi-Xun Shen

Dr. Shen is the Paul Pigott Professor in Physical Sciences, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics and SLAC Photon Science Departments, as well as a senior fellow of the Precourt Institute for Energy, at Stanford University. He is also the Advisor for Science and Technology of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and a member of the faculty advisory board of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program at Stanford University.


Dr. Shen's main research interest lies in the area of condensed matter and materials physics, as well as the applications of materials and devices. He develops advanced instruments, with focus on photon based spectroscopy, imaging and scattering tools. He has produced an extensive amount 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 500 publications, a Google Scholar H citation index of 115, 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 on the 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 Award (Chinese Academy of Sciences). In 2015, Dr. Shen was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. While in 2017, He was elected as a fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Furthermore in 2019, he was named William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Loeb Lecturer of Physics, Harvard University. Dr. Shen continues to be recognized in 2020 by being named Tage Erlander Guest Professor by the Swedish Research Council and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Dr. Shen’s 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 eighty graduate students and postdoctoral associates over the last three decades. These graduate students and postdoctoral associates are now part of the highly skilled scientific personnel for research institutes and industry worldwide. Over forty of them are now faculty members of research universities in North America, Asia and Europe. About ten become scientific staff of national laboratories and research institutes. Over a dozen started their own companies, worked as venture capitalists or in technology companies like Intel and Apple Inc.


Dr. Shen has been a co-inventor of numerous patents. The non-resonance microwave imaging technology invented by his group is seeing a wide range of applications in materials, and earned the Takeda Foundation Techno-Entrepreneurship Award. In 2010, he was recognized as a Finalist for Energy Technology by World Technology Network for his materials science work and co-invention of the photon-enhanced thermionic emission (PETE) device concept, in 2010. Dr. Shen is also co-founder of PrimeNano Inc. PrimeNano’s core technology of Microwave Impedance Microscopy emerged from original research over done in Shen Lab.

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).