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Lizhen Tan

Research Staff
Nuclear Materials Science & Technology Group
Materials Science & Technology Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6151
Phone: (865) 574-4628
Fax: (865) 574-6095


Research Interests:

Dr. Tan’s research interests focus on improving fundamental understanding of microstructure-property relationship of materials through experimental efforts and computational modeling in terms both of thermodynamics and kinetics, and developing advanced processing and combinatorial characterization techniques to enhance materials performance and improve analytical validity and efficiency. Dr. Tan’s research covers a wide range of materials, including metals and ceramics, for structural and functional applications.

Professional Experience and Education:

  • Research staff member of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (01/2010 – Present)
  • Visiting Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (05/2009 – 01/2010)
  • Assistant Scientist in the Department of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (08/2006 – 01/2010)
  • Postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (11/2003 – 08/2006)
  • Ph.D. in Materials Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 10/2003
  • Research Scientist at GE Global Research, New York (08/2002 – 11/2002)
  • M.S. in Materials Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 12/2001
  • B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering at Central South University, China in 07/1996

Research Experience:

  • Alloy development: Enhanced the performance of ferritic-martensitic alloys by optimizing compositions and thermomechanical treatments (DOE)
  • Aggressive environmental corrosion: Assessed the corrosion resistance of advanced steels, Ni-base alloys, SiC, and aluminum alloys exposed to supercritical water, liquid lead-bismuth, supercritical CO2, high-temperature air, and acidic environments, and improved the corrosion resistance as well as mechanical properties of representative alloys by means of grain boundary engineering, surface engineering, and severe plastic deformation (DOE, NACE, and ONR)
  • Transport/reaction mechanism of fission products: Performed experimental studies on the transport/reaction of Ag, Cs, and Pd in/with ceramics (e.g., SiC, TiC, TiN, ZrC, and ZrN), which were studied in parallel by multi-scale modeling and simulation (DOE and NRC)
  • Thermo- and radiation-induced segregation: Investigated segregation in advanced austenitic and ferritic-martensitic steels by in-situ fracture inside AES (DOE)
  • Surface modification: Implemented plasma immersion ion implantation for NiTi shape memory alloys to improve their properties such as pseudoelasticity, hardness, wear and corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility (the Whitaker Foundation and AFOSR)

Professional Activities and Awards:

  • Peer-reviewer for international scholarly journals such as Acta Mater, J Mater Sci, Surf Coat Tech, Solid State Ionics, Corros Sci, J Phys Chem Solids, Biomaterials, et al.
  • Member of The Mineral, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), American Nuclear Society (ANS), and Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • Diamond Honor in Physics, outstanding student leader, and multiple yearly scholarships (B.S.)


  • Book chapter: 1
    L. Tan (invited), T.R. Allen, Y. Yang, Corrosion of austenitic alloys in supercritical water and novel control methods. In: S.K. Sharma (ed.), Green Corrosion Chemistry and Engineering, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Germany, in press.
  • Peer-reviewed journal papers: more than 30 (Detailed list is shown in the ResearcherID link:
  • Conference proceedings and presentations: more than 40 (3 invited).