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Zhi-Xun Shen, PhD

Chief Scientist of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Paul Pigott Professor in Physical Sciences of Stanford University

(650) 725-0440

Elected to National Academy of Sciences 2015


My main research interest lies in the area of condensed matter and materials physics. The questions that motivate my research are: what is the nature of quantum matter? How does complexity give rise to unusual and extreme properties?



MS, Rutgers University

PhD, Stanford University


Research Interests

I focus on the physics of “emergent phenomena”, where interactions among multiple constituencies give “emergence” of novel properties not intrinsic to the individual components. I send electromagnetic waves to probe matter, including x-ray, ultra-violet radiation, laser and microwave radiation. Insights are gained through precision analysis of ejected particles, either photons or electrons. My lab develops precision instrumentation. I develop new interest in energy-related materials.



  • High temperature superconductors
  • Strongly correlated materials
  • Nano-structured carbon, x-ray techniques and novel light sources
  • Modern photoelectron spectroscopy –with energy, momentum, spin and time resolution
  • Laser and microwave spectroscopy and imaging
  • Photon enhanced thermionic emission for concentrator solar energy conversion
  • Application of novel materials



See Publications for Zhi-Xun Shen, PhD