Lizhen Tan

Lizhen Tan

Research Staff and Team Lead, Nuclear Structural Alloys


Dr. Lizhen Tan joined the Materials Science & Technology Division in 2010.  His research interests focus on advanced materials development and assessment for fission and fusion reactors.  With over 10 years of experience in processing-microstructure-property relationship of advanced alloys, he has led and participated in multiple projects on assessing microstructural evolution, radiation resistance, mechanical properties, weldability, and corrosion resistance of a variety of advanced alloys.  Recently, he has been leading the development of advanced ferritic-martensitic steels and ferritic alloys for use in the sodium-cooled fast reactor, light water reactor, and fusion reactor.  He has more than 100 publications in peer-viewed journals, conference proceedings, book chapters, and technical reports.


  • Ph.D., Materials Science at the University, Wisconsin-Madison, 2003.
  • M.S., Materials Science at the University, Wisconsin-Madison , 2001.
  • B.S., Materials Science & Engineering, Central South University, China 1996.

Professional Experience:

  • Postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (11/2003 – 08/2006).
  • Research Scientist at GE Global Research, New York (08/2002 – 11/2002).
  • 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).

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).


  • 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.).


  1. Book chapter: 1L. 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.
  2. Peer-reviewed journal papers: more than 30 (Detailed list is shown in the ResearcherID link:
  3. Conference proceedings and presentations: more than 40 (3 invited).

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