Zhizhang Shen

Credentials: Ph.D. in Geochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Position title: Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: zshen5@wisc.edu

Phone: he/him/his

Room 2029, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706



Zhizhang was born and raised in Hunan Province, China. He earned his PhD in Geochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. After graduation, he moved to Pacific Northwest National Lab for post-doctoral research. He moved back to Madison and joined the Van Lehn group in the Fall of 2018.


My research focuses on understanding the adsorption of polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes to synthetic surfaces. I am further interested in using coarse-grained simulations to predict the disruption of lipid vesicles by adsorbed proteins.

In previous research, I applied atomistic simulations to gain molecular insights into the (bio)geochemical processes at the mineral-water interface. During my doctoral study, I combined ab initio calculations and classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to reveal the effects of catalysts on magnesium dehydration during dolomite growth. In addition, I have applied rare-event sampling techniques to investigate a variety of geochemical phenomena in aqueous environments, such as the effect of electrolyte adsorption on the isoelectric point of minerals, interparticle forces during nanoparticle growth by oriented attachment, elementary steps of mineral dissolution, and the diffusion of radiolytic species in aluminum hydroxides.


11. T. W. Walker, N. Frelka, Z. Shen, A. K. Chew, J. Bannick, S. Grey, J. A. Dumesic, R. C. Van Lehn, and G. W. Huber. “Recycling of multilayer plastic packaging materials by solvent-targeted recovery and precipitation.” Science Advances20206 (47), eaba7599. [Link]

10. Z. Shen and R. C. Van Lehn. “Solvent selection for the separation of lignin-derived monomers using the Conductor-like Screening Model for Real Solvents.” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 202059 (16), 7755-7764 . [Link]

9. J. H. Dwyer, Z. Shen, K. R. Jinkins, W. Wei, M. S. Arnold, R. C. Van Lehn, and P. Gopalan. “Solvent-Mediated Affinity of Polymer-Wrapped Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Chemically Modified Surfaces.” Langmuir 2019, 35 (38), 12492-12500. [Link]

8. Shen, Z., Ilton, E. S., Prange, M. P., Mundy, C. J., Kerisit, S. N., “Diffusion Mechanism of Radiolytic Species in Irradiated Al (Oxy-)Hydroxides.” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2018, 122, 28990-28997 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b07809).

7. Shen, Z., Chun, J., Rosso, K. M., Mundy, C. J. “Surface Chemistry Affects the Efficacy of the Hydration Force between Two ZnO (10-10) Surfaces.” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2018, 122, 12259-12266 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b02421).

6. Shen, Z., Kerisit, S. N., Stack, A., Rosso, K. M. “Free-Energy Landscape of the Dissolution of Gibbsite at High pH.” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters2018, 9, 1809-1814 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b00484).

5. Zhang,X.*, Shen, Z.*, Liu, J., Kerisit, S. N., Bowden, M.E., Sushko, M.L., and De Yoreo, J.J., Rosso, K.M. “Direction-Specific Interaction Forces underlying ZnO Crysal Growth by Oriented Attachment.” Nature Communications, 2017, 8, 835 (*co-first author) (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00844-6)

4. Shen, Z., Ilton, E. S., Prange, M. P., Kerisit, S. N. “Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Interfacial Region between Boehmite and Gibbsite Basal Surfaces and High Ionic Strength Aqueous Solutions.” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2017, 121, 13692-13700 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b02463)

3. Shen, Z., Szlufarska, I. and Xu, H. “Investigation of the Role of Polysaccharide in the Dolomite Growth at Low Temperature by Using Atomistic Simulations.” Langmuir, 2015, 31, 10435-10442 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b02025)

2. Shen, Z., Liu Y., Brown, P. E., Szlufarska, I. and Xu, H. “Modeling the Effect of Dissolved Hydrogen Sulfide on Mg2+-Water Complex on Dolomite {1014} surface.” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2014, 118, 15716-15722 (DOI: 10.1021/jp5028417)

1. Shen, Z., Konishi, H., Brown, P. E. and Xu, H. “Z-contrast Imaging and ab initio Study on “d” Superstructure in Sedimentary Dolomite, American Mineralogist.” 2014, 99, 1413-1419 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.2138/am.2014.4647)