Materials Scientist
Materials Transformations
Materials Scientist
Materials Transformations


Dongsheng Li is currently a staff scientist in the Physical Sciences Division at PNNL. Li earned her PhD from Pennsylvania State University, University Park and she was a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Riverside. Prior to joining PNNL, Li was a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Research Interests

Li’s research interests lie in physical and chemical dynamic processes of materials synthesis and processing. She is developing an understanding of the formation mechanisms that determine nanocrystal size and morphology to enable the design of highly branched nanowires with tailored physical and chemical properties (investigation of structure-function relationships). Specifically, using in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy, her group has made many discoveries on particle mediated growth, especially oriented attachment (OA) process, including colloidal nanoparticle growth and solid-state phase transformation processes.

Li has made two major breakthroughs thus far in her career:

  • Understanding the process of OA in the iron oxyhydroxide system by demonstrating the existence of a force that acts over sub-nm distances to drive the OA event; and
  • Formation of five-fold twin nanoparticles via repeated OA events and decomposition of high energy grain boundaries.

These two papers were the first to directly document the OA and multiple twinning processes and demonstrate the ability to directly observe the process at lattice resolution through in-situ TEM. 


PhD in Materials, Pennsylvania State University

MS in Inorganic Chemistry, Jilin University

BS in Applied Chemistry, Jilin University


Awards and Recognitions

Scholarships for the Excellent Students, First Awards, Jilin University; 1995 and 1998

Scholarships for the Excellent Students, Second Awards, Jilin University; 1996 and 1997



  • Song M, G Zhou, N Lu, J Lee, E Nakouzi, H Wang, D Li. 2020. "Oriented attachment induces fivefold twins by forming and decomposing high-energy grain boundaries." Science, 367 (6473), 40-45.
  • Zhao Y, M Song, X Yang, J Yang, C Du, G Wang, J Yi, G Shan, D Li, L Liu, D Yan, Y Li, X Liu. 2020. "Amorphous Ag2-xCuxS quantum dots: “all-in-one” theranostic nanomedicines for near-infrared fluorescence/photoacoustics dual-modal-imaging-guided photothermal therapy." Chem. Eng. J. 2020, 399, 125777.
  • Yu, F, C Wang, H Ma, M Song, D Li, Y Li, S Li, X Zhang, Y Liu. 2020. "Revisiting Pt/TiO2 photocatalysts for thermally assisted photocatalytic reduction of CO2." Nanoscale, 12 (13), 7000-7010.
  • Song M, Y Zhang, J Chun, S Hu, M Tang, D Li. 2020. "Effects of catalyst droplets on wire growth and the resulting branched structures during VLS growth." Nanoscale, 12 (14), 7538-7543.
  • Ren P, B Wang, S Hu, D Li. 2020. "Ion redistributions at interfaces facilitate nucleation and growth of branched Ag3PO4 polypods." Mater. Lett., 127848.
  • Ren P, M Song, J Lee, D Zhang, D Li. 2020. "Nucleation and growth of PbSeO3, Pb3(CO3)2(OH)2, and Se on the PbSe surfaces by decomposing PbSe in water." Inorg. Chem. Commun., 118, 107989


  • Lee J, E Nakouzi, D Xiao, Z Wu, M Song, C Ophus, and J Chun, et al. 2019. "Interplay between Short and Long-Ranged Forces Leading to the Formation of Ag Nanoparticle Superlattice." Small 15, no. 33: Article Number 1901966. PNNL-SA-142641. doi:10.1002/smll.201901966
  • Ren P, M Song, J Lee, J Zheng, Z Lu, MH Engelhard, and X Yang, et al. 2019. "Edge Dislocations Induce Improved Photocatalytic Efficiency of Colored TiO2." Advanced Materials Interfaces 6, no. 17: Article Number 1901121. PNNL-SA-145888. doi:10.1002/admi.201901121
  • Song J, D Xiao, H Jia, G Zhu, MH Engelhard, B Xiao, and S Feng, et al. 2019. "A Comparative Study of Pomegranate Sb@C Yolk-Shell Microspheres as Li and Na-Ion Battery Anodes." Nanoscale 11, no. 1:348-355. PNNL-SA-139714. doi:10.1039/c8nr08461k
  • Song M, J Lee, B Wang, BA Legg, S Hu, J Chun, and D Li. 2019. "In situ Characterization of Kinetics and Mass Transport of PbSe Nanowire Growth via LS and VLS Mechanisms." Nanoscale 11, no. 13:5874-5878. PNNL-SA-135948. doi:10.1039/C9NR01200A
  • Song M, Z Wu, N Lu, and D Li. 2019. "Strain Relaxation Induced Twin Interface Migration and Morphology Evolution of Silver Nanoparticles." Chemistry of Materials 31, no. 3:842-850. PNNL-SA-138287. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b03984
  • Wang B, H Cai, D Zhao, M Song, P Guo, S Shen, and D Li, et al. 2019. "Enhanced Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution by Partially Replaced Corner-site C Atom with P in g-C3N4." Applied Catalysis. B, Environmental 244. PNNL-SA-136119. doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2018.10.044
  • Wu Z, D. Xiao, J Lee, P Ren, M Song, and D Li. 2019. "Palladium nanostructures with well-controlled morphologies obtained by one-pot and one-step polyol method." Journal of Crystal Growth 521. PNNL-SA-143780. doi:10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2019.05.028


  • Lee J, E Nakouzi, M Song, B Wang, J Chun, and D Li. 2018. "Mechanistic understanding of the growth kinetics and dynamics of nanoparticle superlattices by coupling interparticle forces from real-time measurements." ACS Nano 12, no. 12:12778-12787. PNNL-SA-136036. doi:10.1021/acsnano.8b07880


  • Fu S, C Zhu, J Song, S Feng, D Du, MH Engelhard, and D Xiao, et al. 2017. "Two-dimensional N,S-codoped carbon/Co9S8 catalysts derived from Co(OH)2 nanosheets for oxygen reduction reaction." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 9, no. 42:36755-36761. PNNL-SA-126249. doi:10.1021/acsami.7b10227
  • Li D, H Wang, D Xiao, M Song, BA Legg, and J Chun. 2017. "Investigating the magnitude and source of orientation-dependent interactions between TiO2 crystal surfaces." Nanoscale 9, no. 29:10173-10177. PNNL-SA-126674. doi:10.1039/C7NR03535G
  • Li D, J Chun, D Xiao, W Zhou, H Cai, L Zhang, and KM Rosso, et al. 2017. "Trends in Mica-Mica Adhesion Reflect the Influence of Molecular Details on Long-Range Dispersion Forces Underlying Aggregation and Coalignment." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, no. 29:7537-7542. PNNL-SA-126659. doi:10.1073/pnas.1621186114
  • Zhu C, S Fu, J Song, Q Shi, D Su, MH Engelhard, and X Li, et al. 2017. "Self-Assembled Fe-N-Doped Carbon Nanotube Aerogels with Single-Atom Catalysis Feature as Highly Efficient Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysts." Small 13, no. 15:Article No. 1603407. PNNL-SA-119038. doi:10.1002/smll.201603407


  • Oudriss A, S Le Guernic, Z Wang, B Osman Hock, J Bouhattate, E Conforto, and Z Zhu, et al. 2016. "Meso-scale anisotropic hydrogen segregation near grain-boundaries in polycrystalline nickel characterized by EBSD/SIMS." Materials Letters 165. PNNL-SA-115815. doi:10.1016/j.matlet.2015.12.016
  • Wu X, Y Zhang, K Takle, O Bilsel, Z Li, H Lee, and Z Zhang, et al. 2016. "Dye-Sensitized Core/Active Shell Upconversion Nanoparticles for Optogenetics and Bioimaging Applications." ACS Nano 10, no. 1:1060-1066. PNNL-SA-115307. doi:10.1021/acsnano.5b06383


  • Li D, S Ahzi, SM M'Guil, W Wen, CA Lavender, and MA Khaleel. 2014. "Modeling of deformation behavior and texture evolution in magnesium alloy using the intermediate ϕ-model." International Journal of Plasticity 52. PNNL-SA-114911. doi:10.1016/j.ijplas.2013.06.005
  • Nielsen MH, D Li, H Zhang, S Aloni, YJ Han, C Frandsen, and JM Seto, et al. 2014. "Investigating Processes of Nanocrystal Formation and Transformation via Liquid Cell TEM." Microscopy and Microanalysis 20, no. 02:425-436. PNNL-SA-106808. doi:10.1017/S1431927614000294
  • Tabei A, S Ahzi, D Li, CA Lavender, and H Garmestani. 2014. "Effects of Morphology and Geometry of Inclusions on Two-Point Correlation Statistics in Two Phase Composites." International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Multiscale Mechanics 3, no. 1:1-17. PNNL-SA-114317. doi:10.1504/IJTAMM.2014.069444