Materials Scientist
Atomically Precise Materials
Materials Scientist
Atomically Precise Materials


Le Wang is a materials scientist in the oxide epitaxy group of the Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate. His research interest focuses on oxide epitaxy thin films and exploring their potential in electronics, ion diffusion/transport, and electrocatalysis. He has more than 10 years of experience in the synthesis, characterization, and utilization of oxide thin films and heterostructures.

He joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2017 as a postdoc and became a staff scientist in 2020. His work has focused on controlling the electronic phase evolution and coupling the lattice strain and oxygen non-stoichiometry in epitaxial perovskite oxide thin film systems for information and energy storage technologies. He excels at employing the techniques of X-ray photoelectron and absorption spectroscopy to study the electronic structures of transition metal oxide thin films for a better understanding of the composition–structure–property relationship to control electrochemical activity for energy conversion and storage.

Wang has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, including some in high-impact journals such as Science Advances, Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, Physical Review Letters, Nano Letters, and ACS Nano. He has garnered more than 2,200 citations and serves as a reviewer for many journals, such as Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Applied Physics Reviews, National Science Review, and the ACS series. 

Le Wang on Google Scholar.

Research Interest

  • Controlling electronic phase evolution in functional oxide thin films and nanoscale materials made by oxide molecular beam epitaxy and pulsed laser deposition
  • Coupling lattice strain and oxygen non-stoichiometry in perovskite oxide systems for information and energy technologies
  • Predictive synthesis of highly active and cost-effective electrocatalysts based on perovskite oxides for energy conversion and storage
  • Understanding how ion diffuses in solids, at the solid/solid interface, and the solid/liquid interface for designing next-generation solid oxide fuel cells and stable ion-based batteries with high performance
  • Exploring and developing new materials systems for multifunctionality


  • PhD in condensed matter physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China, 2014
  • BE in electronics science and technology, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China, 2008

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Vacuum Society (AVS)
  • Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • American Physical Society (APS)
  • American Ceramic Society (ACS)

Awards and Recognitions

  • Exceptional Contribution Award, PNNL, 2023

  • Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL, 2023

  • Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL, 2022
  • Distinguished Performance Award, PNNL, 2021
  • China National Scholarship, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2013
  • The Outstanding Graduate Student, Inner Mongolia University, 2008
  • China National Scholarship, Inner Mongolia University, 2007



  • Ellen Marijn Kiens, Min-Ju Choi, Luhan Wei, Qiyang Lu*, Le Wang*, Christoph Baeumer*, “Deeper Mechanistic Insights into Epitaxial Nickelate Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction”, Chemical Communications 59, 4562-4577 (2023). PNNL-SA-181231

  • Choi MJ, L Wang*, KA Stoerzinger, SY Chung, SA Chambers, Y Du*, “Epitaxial Design of Complex Nickelates as Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction”, Advanced Energy Materials, 13, 2300239 (2023). PNNL-SA-183550

  • Zhenzhong Yang, Le Wang, Mark Dhas Jeffrey A., Engelhard Mark H., Bowden, Wen Liu, Zihua Zhu, Chongmin Wang, Scott Chambers, Peter Sushko, Yingge Du, “Guided anisotropic oxygen transport in vacancy ordered oxides”, Nature Communications, 14, 6068 (2023). PNNL-SA-172244

  • Binod Paudel, Krishna P Koirala, Le Wang*, Zengqing Zhuo, Mark E Bowden, Peter V Sushko, Wanli Yang, George E Sterbinsky, Scott A Chambers, Tiffany C Kaspar, Yingge Du, “Epitaxial growth of hexagonal BaNiO3−δ thin films on SrTiO3(111) substrates”, Physical Review Materials, 7, 085004 (2023). PNNL-SA-184954   doi = 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.7.085004

  • Jose L Gonzalez Jimenez, Corey Melnick, Krishna Prasad Koirala, Ran Adler, Fei Wang, Meryem Berrada, Bin Chen, Le Wang, David Walker, Gabriel Kotliar, Weiwei Xie, “Tetragonal Kondo Insulator EuCd2Sb2 Discovered via High Pressure High Temperature Synthesis”, Advanced Functional Materials, 33, 2303612 (2023). PNNL-SA-184788

  • Ting Cui, Ting Lin, Qiao Jin, Shengru Chen, Haitao Hong, Qinghua Zhang, Yiyan Fan, Dongke Rong, Jiaou Wang, Can Wang, Lin Gu, Kuijuan Jin, Le Wang, Er-Jia Guo, “Orbital control of metal-to-insulator transition in high-entropy nickelates”, Physical Review Materials, 7, 115802 (2023). PNNL-SA-186623  doi: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.7.115802

  • Liam Twight, Ally Tonsberg, Samji Samira, Kunal Velinkar, Kora Dumpert, Yingqing Ou, Le Wang, Eranda Nikolla, Shannon W Boettcher, “Trace Fe activates perovskite nickelate OER catalysts in alkaline media via redox-active surface Ni species formed during electrocatalysis”, Journal of Catalysis, 432, 115443 (2024). PNNL-SA-191904

  • Adiga P.P., L. Wang, C. Wong, B.E. Matthews, M.E. Bowden, S.R. Spurgeon, and G.E. Sterbinsky, et al. 2023. "Correlation between oxygen evolution reaction activity and surface compositional evolution in epitaxial La0.5Sr0.5Ni1-xFexO3-d thin films." Nanoscale 15, no. 3:1119-1127. PNNL-SA-178044. doi:10.1039/D2NR05373J
  • Taylor S.D., K.H. Yano, M. Sassi, B.E. Matthews, E.J. Kautz, S.M. Lambeets, and S. Neuman, et al. 2023. "Resolving diverse oxygen transport pathways across Sr-doped lanthanum ferrite and metal-perovskite heterostructures." Advanced Materials Interfaces. PNNL-SA-177776. doi:10.1002/admi.202202276


  • Gao H., C. Ding, J. Son, Y. Zhu, M. Wang, Z. Yu, and J. Chen, et al. 2022. "Ultra-flat and long-lived plasmons in a strongly correlated oxide." Nature Communications 13, no. 1:Art. No. 4662. PNNL-SA-170103. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-32359-0
  • Wang L., M. Hossain, Y. Du, and S.A. Chambers. 2022. "Exploring the potential of high entropy perovskite oxides as catalysts for water oxidation." Nano Today 47. PNNL-SA-178028. doi:10.1016/j.nantod.2022.101697
  • Samarakoon W.S., J. Hu, M. Song, M.E. Bowden, N. Lahiri, J. Liu, and L. Wang, et al. 2022. "Direct Imaging of the Structural and Morphological Evolution of Epitaxial LiCoO2 Films during Charge and Overcharge." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 126, no. 37:15882-15890. PNNL-SA-171524. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.2c01940
  • Wang L., J. Zhao, C. Kuo, B.E. Matthews, M.T. Oostrom, S.R. Spurgeon, and Z. Yang, et al. 2022. "Synthesis and Electronic Properties of Epitaxial SrNiO3/SrTiO3 Superlattices." Physical Review Materials 6, no. 7:Art. No. 75006. PNNL-SA-172058. doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.6.075006
  • Wang L., Z. Yang, W.S. Samarakoon, Y. Zhou, M.E. Bowden, H. Zhang, and J. Tao, et al. 2022. "Spontaneous Lithiation of Binary Oxides during Epitaxial Growth on LiCoO2." Nano Letters 22, no. 13:5530-5537. PNNL-SA-169939. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c01701
  • Jin Q., Z. Wang, Q. Zhang, Y. Yu, S. Lin, S. Chen, and M. Qi, et al. 2022. "Room-temperature ferromagnetism at an oxide-nitride interface." Physical Review Letters 128, no. 1-7:Art. No. 017202. PNNL-SA-169042. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.017202


  • Akers S.M., E.J. Kautz, A. Trevino-Gavito, M.J. Olszta, B.E. Matthews, L. Wang, and Y. Du, et al. 2021. "Rapid and Flexible Segmentation of Electron Microscopy Data Using Few-Shot Machine Learning." npj Computational Materials 7. PNNL-SA-160786. doi:10.1038/s41524-021-00652-z
  • Carvalho O.Q., P.P. Adiga, L. Wang, J. Liu, E. Jia, Y. Du, and S. Nemsak, et al. 2021. "Probing adsorbates on La1-xSrxNiO3-d surfaces under humid conditions: implications for the oxygen evolution reaction." Journal of Physics D. Applied Physics 54, no. 27:274003. PNNL-SA-159568. doi:10.1088/1361-6463/abf674
  • Kaspar T.C., S.R. Spurgeon, B.E. Matthews, M.E. Bowden, S.M. Heald, L. Wang, and R. Kelley, et al. 2021. "Incorporation of Ti in epitaxial Fe2TiO4 thin films." Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 33, no. 31:Article No. 314004. PNNL-SA-160885. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/ac0571
  • Lebens-Higgins Z., H. Chung, I. Temprano, M. Zuba, J. Wu, J. Rana, and C. Mejia, et al. 2021. "Electrochemical Utilization of Iron IV in the Li1.3Fe0.4Nb0.3O2 Disordered Rocksalt Cathode." Batteries and Supercaps 4, no. 5:771-777. PNNL-SA-156856. doi:10.1002/batt.202000318
  • Qin C., L. Wang, P. Yan, Y. Du, and M. Sui. 2021. "LiCoO2 Epitaxial Film Enabling Precise Analysis of Interfacial Degradations." Chinese Physical Letters 38, no. 6:068202. PNNL-SA-159685. doi:10.1088/0256-307X/38/6/068202
  • Wang L., P.P. Adiga, J. Zhao, W.S. Samarakoon, K.A. Stoerzinger, S.R. Spurgeon, and B.E. Matthews, et al. 2021. "Understanding the Electronic Structure Evolution of Epitaxial LaNi1-xFexO3 Thin Films for Water Oxidation." Nano Letters 21, no. 19:8324-8331. PNNL-SA-163586. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c02901
  • Wang L., Y. Du, and S.A. Chambers. 2021. "Determining valence band offsets in heterojunctions using a single core-level x-ray photoelectron spectrum." Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: International Journal Devoted to Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films 39, no. 4:043208. PNNL-SA-161733. doi:10.1116/6.0001103
  • Wang L., Z. Yang, X. Yin, S.D. Taylor, X. He, C. Tang, and M.E. Bowden, et al. 2021. "Spontaneous phase segregation of Sr2NiO3 and SrNi2O3 during SrNiO3 heteroepitaxy." Science Advances 7, no. 10. PNNL-SA-153686. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abe2866


  • Chambers S.A., L. Wang, and D.R. Baer. 2020. "Introductory Guide to the Application of XPS to Epitaxial Films and Heterostructures." Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: International Journal Devoted to Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films 36, no. 6:Article No. 061201. PNNL-SA-154604. doi:10.1116/6.0000465
  • Liu J., E. Jia, K.A. Stoerzinger, L. Wang, Y. Wang, Z. Yang, and D. Shen, et al. 2020. "Dynamic Lattice Oxygen Participation on Perovskite LaNiO3 During Oxygen Evolution Reaction." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 124, no. 28:15386-15390. PNNL-SA-152668. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c04808
  • Wangoh L.W., Z. Yang, L. Wang, M.E. Bowden, X. Yin, A. Wee, and K.T. Mueller, et al. 2020. "Mg2+ Diffusion-Induced Structural and Property Evolution in Epitaxial Fe3O4 Thin Films." ACS Nano 14, no. 11:14887-14894. PNNL-SA-153235. doi:10.1021/acsnano.0c04025
  • Stoerzinger K.A., L. Wang, H. Su, K. Lee, E.J. Crumlin, and Y. Du. 2020. "Influence of strain on SrFeO3-d oxidation, reduction, and water dissociation: Insights from ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy." Applied Surface Science 527. PNNL-SA-152444. doi:10.1016/j.apsusc.2020.146919
  • Tian C., W. Li, Y. Lin, Z. Yang, L. Wang, Y. Du, and H.Y. Xiao, et al. 2020. "Electronic Structure, Optical Properties, and Photoelectrochemical Activity of Sn-Doped Fe2O3 Thin Films." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 124, no. 23:12548-12558. PNNL-SA-151625. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c02875
  • Wang L., Z. Yang, J. Wu, M.E. Bowden, W. Yang, H. Qiao, and Y. Du. 2020. "Time- and Strain-Dependent Nanoscale Structural Degradation in Phase Change Epitaxial Strontium Ferrite Films." npj Materials Degradation 4, no. 1:Article No.16. PNNL-SA-151481. doi:10.1038/s41529-020-0120-3
  • Wang L., Z. Yang, M.E. Bowden, J.W. Freeland, P.V. Sushko, S.R. Spurgeon, and B.E. Matthews, et al. 2020. "Hole-Trapping-Induced Stabilization of Ni4+ in SrNiO3/ LaFeO3 Superlattices." Advanced Materials 32, no. 45:2005003. PNNL-SA-152538. doi:10.1002/adma.202005003


  • Chang L., L. Wang, L. You, Z. Yang, A. Abdelsamie, Q. Zhang, and Y. Zhou, et al. 2019. "Tuning Photovoltaic Performance of Perovskite Nickelates Heterostructures by Changing the A-Site Rare-Earth Element." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11, no. 17:16191-16197. PNNL-SA-140637. doi:10.1021/acsami.9b01851
  • Liu J., E. Jia, L. Wang, K.A. Stoerzinger, D. Zhou, C. Tang, and X. Yin, et al. 2019. "Tuning the Electronic Structure of LaNiO3 through Alloying with Strontium to Enhance Oxygen Evolution Activity." Advanced Science 6, no. 19:Article No: 1901073. PNNL-SA-141734. doi:10.1002/advs.201901073
  • Wang L., K.A. Stoerzinger, L. Chang, X. Yin, Y. Li, C. Tang, and E. Jia, et al. 2019. "Strain Effect on Oxygen Evolution Reaction Activity of Epitaxial NdNiO3 Thin Films." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11, no. 13:12941-12947. PNNL-SA-139978. doi:10.1021/acsami.8b21301
  • Wang L., Y. Du, L. Chang, K.A. Stoerzinger, M.E. Bowden, J. Wang, and S.A. Chambers. 2019. "Erratum: "Band alignment and electrocatalytic activity at the p-n La0.88Sr0.12FeO3/SrTiO3(001) heterojunction" [Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 261601 (2018)]." Applied Physics Letters 114, no. 11:Article No. 119901. PNNL-SA-143811. doi:10.1063/1.5094172
  • Wang L., Y. Du, P.V. Sushko, M.E. Bowden, K.A. Stoerzinger, S.M. Heald, and M. Scafetta, et al. 2019. "Hole-Induced Electronic and Optical Transitions in La1-xSrxFeO3 Epitaxial Thin Films." Physical Review Materials 3, no. 2:Article Number 025401. PNNL-SA-139953. doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.3.025401
  • Wang L., Z. Yang, M.E. Bowden, and Y. Du. 2019. "Brownmillerite Phase Formation and Evolution in Epitaxial Strontium Ferrite Heterostructures." Applied Physics Letters 114, no. 23:Article No. 231602. PNNL-SA-141379. doi:10.1063/1.5096769


  • Stoerzinger K.A., L. Wang, Y. Ye, M.E. Bowden, E.J. Crumlin, Y. Du, and S.A. Chambers. 2018. "Linking surface chemistry to photovoltage in Sr-substituted LaFeO3 for water oxidation." Journal of Materials Chemistry A 6, no. 44:22170-22178. PNNL-SA-135655. doi:10.1039/c8ta05741a
  • Stoerzinger K.A., Y. Du, S.R. Spurgeon, L. Wang, D.M. Kepaptsoglou, Q.M. Ramasse, and E.J. Crumlin, et al. 2018. "Chemical and Electronic Structure Analysis of a SrTiO3 (001) / p-Ge (001) Hydrogen Evolution Photocathode." MRS Communications 8, no. 2:446-452. PNNL-SA-131770. doi:10.1557/mrc.2018.38
  • Wang L., K.A. Stoerzinger, L. Chang, J. Zhao, Y. Li, C. Tang, and X. Yin, et al. 2018. "Tuning Bifunctional Oxygen Electrocatalysts by Changing A-site Rare-Earth Element in Perovskite Nickelates." Advanced Functional Materials 28, no. 39:1803712. PNNL-SA-135288. doi:10.1002/adfm.201803712
  • Wang L., Y. Du, L. Chang, K.A. Stoerzinger, M.E. Bowden, J. Wang, and S.A. Chambers. 2018. "Band Alignment and Electrocatalytic Activity at the p-n La0.88Sr0.12FeO3 / SrTiO3(001) Heterojunction." Applied Physics Letters 112, no. 26:261601. PNNL-SA-135023. doi:10.1063/1.5030897
  • Yang Z., P. Ong, Y. He, L. Wang, M.E. Bowden, W. Xu, and T.C. Droubay, et al. 2018. "Direct Visualization of Li Dendrite Effect on LiCoO2 Cathode by In Situ TEM." Small 14, no. 52:1803108. PNNL-SA-135382. doi:10.1002/smll.201803108
  • Zhang J.Y., W. Li, R.Z. Hoye, J.L. Macmanus-Driscoll, M. Budde, O. Bierwagen, and L. Wang, et al. 2018. "Electronic and transport properties of Li-doped NiO epitaxial thin films." Journal of Materials Chemistry C 6, no. 9:2275-2282. PNNL-SA-132898. doi:10.1039/c7tc05331b
  • Zhang K.H., G. Li, S.R. Spurgeon, L. Wang, P. Yan, Z. Wang, and M. Gu, et al. 2018. "Creation And Ordering Of Oxygen Vacancies At WO3-d And Perovskite Interfaces." Advanced Materials Interfaces 10, no. 20:17480-17486. PNNL-SA-110314. doi:10.1021/acsami.8b03278
  • Zhang K.L., G. Li, S.R. Spurgeon, L. Wang, P. Yan, Z. Wang, and M. Gu, et al. 2018. "Creation and Ordering of Oxygen Vacancies at WO3-d and Perovskite Interfaces." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10, no. 20:17480-17486. PNNL-SA-132665. doi:10.1021/acsami.8b03278


  • Chambers S.A., M.H. Engelhard, L. Wang, T.C. Droubay, M.E. Bowden, M.J. Wahila, and N. Quackenbush, et al. 2017. "X-ray photoelectron spectra for single-crystal Ti2O3: experiment and theory." Physical Review B 96, no. 20:205143. PNNL-SA-127619. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.96.205143