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Yanwen Zhang

Research Staff
Nuclear Materials Science & Technology Group
Materials Science & Technology Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6138
Phone: (865) 574-8518
Fax: (865) 241-3650


Dr. Yanwen Zhang joined ORNL in June 2010 as a senior research staff. She received her B.S. (1990) and M.S. (1993) degrees in Solid State Physics at Beijing Normal University (China). She was awarded a Licentiate (1997) and a Ph.D. in Engineering (1998) from Lund University (Sweden) and a Ph.D. in Science (1999) from Beijing Normal University. Her doctoral research involved experimental (Applications of Ion Beam Methods in Nanometer Structures) and computational (Stoichiometry Disturbance by MeV Ion Implantation) studies. After earning two Ph.D. degrees, she was Postdoc and assistant professor at the Department of Ion Physics at Uppsala University (Sweden) from 1999 through 2002. From 2003 through 2010, she was a senior/staff scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Dr. Zhang’s research experience covers a range of topics in both theoretical and experimental materials science. The central aspect of Dr. Zhang research has been the interactions of charged particles with materials and how these interactions can be applied to the analysis and modification of materials, as well as the detection and characterization of charged particles, including ion-solid, electron-solid and photon-solid interaction, nanoscale defect engineering, radiation detector physics, ion-beam modification and synthesis of materials, impurity diffusion in solids, water interactions and uptake in polymeric materials, electrochemical oxidation of nuclear reactor fuel cladding, numerical simulation, and applications of ion-beam analysis techniques.

Dr. Zhang’s accomplishments are highlighted by her publication record that includes 130 journal articles, many peer-reviewed conference papers and technical reports; she is the lead author on nearly half of these publications. She is co-author on an invited chapter: MeV Ion beam Modification of Materials in the book Electrostatic Accelerators - Techniques and Applications, and a co-editor for the book on Ion Beams in Nanoscience and Technology. She has co-organized symposia on Materials Research Needs to Advance Nuclear Energy for the 2009 MRS Fall meeting, Ion Beam Modification and Synthesis in Solids at the 2006 Mater. Sci. & Tech. Conference, Novel Applications of Ion Beam Processing (2006) and Novel Applications of Ion-Solid Interactions (2008) at the International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research & Industry. She is current a co-chair for the International Conference on Radiation Effects in Insulators in 2010. She has given 35 invited presentations at universities, research institutions, scientific conferences and workshops.

In 2004, Dr. Zhang was awarded an Honorary Docent from Lund University after a rigorous evaluation of scientific achievements and pedagogical skills. She is the recipient of the 2005 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and DOE Office of Science Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award for internationally recognized, seminal contributions to the fields of ion-beam physics and ion-solid interactions in materials, especially development of a novel approach for measuring electronic stopping. In 2007, Dr. Zhang was awarded a unique off-site Guest Professor appointment at Peking University, one of the China's most prestigious universities. In April 2008, Dr. Zhang was invited to the 2008 German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (GAFOE), hosted by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Dr. Zhang was also invited to the 14th German-American Frontiers of Science Symposium (GAFOS) in June 2008, hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the National Academy of Science (NAS). The invitation-only symposium series, the Academy's premiere activity for distinguished young scientists, provides an overview of advances and opportunities in a wide-ranging set of disciplines and an opportunity to build a network with their colleagues to a productive long-term cooperation in different fields.