Leon L. Shaw

  • Rowe Family Chair Professor in Sustainable Energy
  • Professor of Materials Science and Engineering


Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, and Minor in Mechanics and Engineering Science, University of Florida, USA, 1992
M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, USA, 1992
M. Eng. in Mechanical Engineering, Fuzhou University, China, 1987
B.S. in Materials Engineering, Fuzhou University, China, 1980

Research Interests

The research activities in Shaw's group focus on synthesis and processing of advanced materials for energy and structural applications. Several projects are taking place concurrently, which include:

  • synthesis and fabrication of novel electrode chemistry and architecture for Li-ion batteries, Na-ion batteries, electrochemical capacitors, and redox flow batteries;
  • investigation of novel hydrogen storage materials for fuel cell vehicles; and
  • novel synthesis and processing of nanostructured metals and ceramics for mechanical applications.

The superior properties of the aforementioned materials are achieved through new chemical compositions, novel processing techniques, and innovative microstructure control. High energy ball milling, wet chemical synthesis (e.g., co-precipitation, hydrothermal, and sol-gel processing), sintering, integrated mechanical and thermal activation, and additive manufacturing are just several examples of the processing techniques that we have studied in order to attain novel properties for energy and structural applications.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Member, John Jeppson Award Committee of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS)
  • Member, THERMEC Executive Committee
  • Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
  • Editorial Board Member, Batteries
  • Contributing Editor, Journal of the American Ceramic Society
  • Guest Editor, Materials Science and Engineering (1998, 2000, 2006)
  • Guest Editor, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions (1998)
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance (2005)
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Materials Science (2011)
  • Member, American Ceramic Society
  • Member, ASM International,
  • Member, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society


"Energy Award" presented by International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM), 2018

Energy Award Lecture in the Plenary Session of the 20th Assembly of the European Advanced Materials Congress 2018: "Hierarchical Design and Synthesis of Si Anodes for Next-Generation Li-ion Batteries"

Keynote Presentation at THERMEC'2016: "Hierarchical Design and Synthesis of Nanomaterials to Enable High Capacity Rechargeable Battery Electrodes," Graz, Austria, May 29 – June 3, 2016

"Key Scientific Article Contributing to the Excellence in Energy Research” featured by Renewable Energy Global Innovations, June 2015

Keynote Presentation at Cleantech 2014: “High Voltage, High Capacity, Ambient Temperature Sodium-Based Flow Batteries,” Washington, DC, June 15-19, 2014

Keynote Presentation at ISPlasma2013: “Energy Storage Enabled by Nanomaterials and Advanced Processing,” Nagoya, Japan, January 28 - February 1, 2013

NSF Highlights: “Next Generation Bone Implants: More Like the Real Thing” for the NSF Project: Functionally Graded Orthopedic Implants via the Slurry Mixing and Dispensing Process, 2011

The John & Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture, Michigan Technological University, 2010

Member, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), 2006

“Highly Commended Paper for Excellence 2006” by Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2006

Outstanding Faculty Member of the Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering Department, UConn, 2006

Fellow, the World Academy of Materials and Manufacturing Engineering (AMME), Poland, 2005

Fellow, ASM International, 2004


C. Liu and L. Shaw, "A High Capacity, Room Temperature, Hybrid flow battery consisted of liquid Na-Cs anode and aqueous NaI catholyte," Batteries, in press (2018).

S. Emani, C. Liu, M. Ashuri, K. Sahni, J. Wu, W. Yang, K. Nemeth, and L. Shaw, "Li3BN2 as a transition metal free, high capacity cathode for Li-ion batteries," ChemElectroChem, in press (2018).

L. Shaw, M. Islam, J. Li, L. Li, and S. M. Imran Ayub, "High speed additive manufacturing through high aspect ratio nozzles," JOM, 70(3), 284-291 (2018).

M. Ashuri, Q. He, Y. Liu, S. Emani, and L. Shaw, "Synthesis and performance of nanostructured silicon/graphite composites with a thin carbon shell and engineered voids," Electrochimica Acta, 258, 274-283 (2017).

J. S. Shamie, C. Liu, L. Shaw, and V. L. Sprenkle, "New mechanism for the reduction of vanadyl acetylacetonate to vanadium acetylacetonate for room temperature flow batteries," ChemSusChem, 10 (3), 533-540 (2017).

M. Sawicki, A. Ortiz, M. Luo and L. Shaw, "Structural-defect-controlled electrochemical performance of sodium ion batteries with NaCrO2 cathodes," ChemElectroChem, 4, 3222-3230 (2017).

L. Chen, N. L. Dietz Rago, I. D. Bloom, and L. Shaw, "New insight into the electrode mechanism of lithium sulfur batteries via air-free post-test analysis," Chem. Commun., 52, 9913-9916 (2016).

S. Emani, A. F. C. Ramos dos Santos, L. Shaw, and Z. Chen, "Investigation of microstructure and mechanical properties at low and high temperatures of WC – 6 wt% Co," Int. J. Refract. Met. Hard Mater., 58, 172-181 (2016).

C. Liu, B. B. Koyyalamudi, L. Li, S. Emani, C. Wang, and L Shaw, "Improved capacitive energy storage via surface functionalization of activated carbon as cathodes for lithium ion capacitors," Carbon, 109, 163-172 (2016).

M. Ashuri, Q. He, Yuzi Liu, K. Zhang, S. Emani, M. S. Sawicki, J. S. Shamie, and L. Shaw, "Hollow silicon nanospheres encapsulated with a thin carbon shell: an electrochemical study," Electrochimica Acta, 215, 126-141 (2016).

M. Ashuri, Q. He, and L. Shaw, "Silicon as potential anode material for Li-ion batteries: where size, geometry and structure matter," Nanoscale, 8, 74-103 (2016).

Y. Zhong, X. Wan, Z. Ding, and L. Shaw, "New dehydrogenation pathway of LiBH4 + MgH2 mixtures enabled by nanoscale LiBH4," Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 41, 22104-22117 (2016).

C. Liu, J. S. Shamie, L. Shaw, and V. L. Sprenkle, "An ambient temperature molten sodium-vanadium battery with aqueous flowing catholyte," ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 8, 1545-1552 (2015).

L. Chen, Y. Liu, F. Zhang, C. Liu, and L. Shaw, "PVP-assisted synthesis of uniform carbon-coated Li2S/CB for high performance lithium sulfur batteries," ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 7, 25748-25766 (2015).

L. Chen, Y. Liu, N. Dietz-Rago, and L. Shaw, "Bottom-up, hard template and scalable approaches toward designing nanostructured Li2S for high performance lithium sulfur batteries," Nanoscale, 7, 18071-18080 (2015).

C. Wang, M. Sawicki, J. Kaduk, and L. Shaw, "Roles of processing, structural defects and ionic conductivity in electrochemical performance of Na3MnCO3PO4 cathode material," J. Electrochem. Soc., 162 (8), A1601-A1609 (2015).

Z. Ding, X. Zhao, and L. Shaw, "Reaction between LiBH4 and MgH2 induced by high-energy ball milling," J. Power Sources, 293, 236-245 (2015).

S. Emani, C. Wang, L. Shaw, and Z. Chen, "On the hardness of submicrometer-sized WC-Co materials," Mater. Sci. Eng., 628, 98-103 (2015).

M. Sawicki and L. Shaw, "Advances and challenges of sodium ion batteries as post lithium ion batteries," RSC Advances, 5, 53129-53154 (2015).

J. S. Shamie, C. Liu, L. Shaw, and V. L. Sprenkle, "Room temperature, hybrid sodium-based flow batteries with multi-electron transfer redox reactions," Scientific Reports, 5, 11215; doi: 10.1038/srep11215 (2015).

C. Wang, M. Sawicki, S. Emani, C. Liu, and L. Shaw, "Na3MnCO3PO4 – A high capacity, multi-electron transfer redox cathode material for sodium ion batteries," Electrochimica Acta, 161, 322-328 (2015).

L. Chen, Y. Liu, M. Ashuri, C. Liu, and L. Shaw, "Li2S encapsulated by nitrogen-doped carbon for lithium sulfur batteries," J. Mater. Chem. A, 2 (42), 18026-18032 (2014).

L. Chen and L. Shaw, "Recent advances in lithium-sulfur batteries," J. Power Sources, 267, 770-783 (2014).

D. Lin, Q. Wang, K. Peng, and L. Shaw, "Phase formation and properties of composite electrolyte BCY-GDC for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells," J. Power Sources, 205, 100-107 (2012).

X. Wan and L. Shaw, "Novel dehydrogenation properties derived from nanoscale LiBH4," Acta Mater., 59, 4606-4615 (2011).

L. Shaw, X. Wan, J. Z. Hu, J. H. Kwak, and Z. Yang, "The solid-state hydriding mechanism in the LiBH4 + MgH2 System," J. Phys. Chem. C, 114, 8089-8098 (2010).

L. Shaw, J.-W. Tian, A. L. Ortiz, K. Dai, J. C. Villegas, P. K. Liaw, R. Ren, and D. L. Klarstrom, "A direct comparison in the fatigue resistance enhanced by surface severe plastic deformation and shot peening in a C-2000 superalloy," Mater. Sci. Eng., 527(4-5), 986-994 (2010).

J. Wang and L. Shaw, "Nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite with simultaneous enhancements in hardness and toughness," Biomater., 30(34), 6565-6572 (2009).

X. Wan, T. Markmaitree, W. Osborn, and L. Shaw, "Nanoengineering-enabled solid-state hydrogen uptake and release in the LiBH4 plus MgH2 System," J. Phys. Chem. C, 112, 18232-18243 (2008).

J. Wang and L. Shaw, "Morphology-enhanced low temperature sintering of nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite," Adv. Mater., 19, 2364-2369 (2007).

J. Wang and L. Shaw, "Functionally graded materials via inkjet color printing," J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 89(10), 3285-3289 (2006).

M. Wu and L. Shaw, "A novel concept of carbon-filled polymer blends for applications of PEM fuel cell bipolar plates," Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 30(4), 373-380 (2005).

R.-M. Ren, Z.-G. Yang, and L. Shaw, "Synthesis of nanostructured silicon carbide through integrated mechanical and thermal activation process," J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 85(4), 819-827 (2002).

L. Shaw, D. Goberman, R.-M. Ren, M. Gell, S. Jiang, Y. Wang, T. D. Xiao, and P. Strutt, "The dependency of microstructure and properties of nanostructured coatings on plasma spray conditions," Surf. Coat. Technol., 130, 1-8 (2000).