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Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate

Staff information


Birgit Schwenzer

Materials Synthesis

Research Interests

  • Synthesis and characterization of inorganic structures, composite materials and organometallic compounds
  • Structure-property relationship investigations for inorganic nano- and microstructures

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.), Chemistry, Universit├Ąt Konstanz, Germany, 2002
  • M.S., Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1998

Affiliations and Professional Service

PNNL Publications


  • Gao F, J Szanyi, Y Wang, B Schwenzer, M Kollar, and CHF Peden. 2016. "Hydrothermal aging effects on Fe/SSZ-13 and Fe/beta NH3-SCR catalysts." Topics in Catalysis 59(10):882-886.  doi:10.1007/s11244-016-0563-5
  • Gao F, Y Zheng, RK Kukkadapu, Y Wang, ED Walter, B Schwenzer, J Szanyi, and CHF Peden. 2016. "Iron loading effects in Fe/SSZ-13 NH3-SCR catalysts: nature of the Fe-ions and structure-function relationships ." ACS Catalysis 6(5):2939-2954.  doi:10.1021/acscatal.6b00647
  • Levitskaia TG, S Chatterjee, BW Arey, EL Campbell, Y Hong, L Kovarik, JM Peterson, N Pence, J Romero, V Shutthanandan, B Schwenzer, and T Varga. 2016. "RedOx-Controlled Sorption of Iodine Anions by Hydrotalcite Composites." RSC Advances 6(79):76042-76055.  doi:10.1039/c6ra13092e
  • Schwenzer B, TC Kaspar, Y Shin, and DW Gotthold. 2016. "Spectroscopic study of graphene oxide membranes exposed to ultraviolet light." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 120(23):12559-12567.  doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b03033
  • Shin Y, W Liu, B Schwenzer, S Manandhar, DG Chase-Woods, MH Engelhard, R Devanathan, LS Fifield, WD Bennett, B Ginovska-Pangovska, and DW Gotthold. 2016. "Graphene oxide membranes with high permeability and selectivity for dehumidification of air." Carbon 106:164-170.  doi:10.1016/j.carbon.2016.05.023


  • Fifield LS, MP Westman, A Zwoster, and B Schwenzer. 2015. Assessment of Cable Aging Equipment, Status of Acquired Materials, and Experimental Matrix at the Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryPNNL-24198, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Lee YJ, L Huang, H Wang, ML Sushko, B Schwenzer, IA Aksay, and J Liu. 2015. "Structural rearrangement and dispersion of functionalized graphene sheets in aqueous solutions." Colloids and Interface Science Communications 8:1-5.  doi:10.1016/j.colcom.2015.12.002
  • Schwenzer B, L Cosimbescu, VA Glezakou, AJ Karkamkar, Z Wang, and RS Weber. 2015. "Use of Solvatochromism to Assay Preferential Solvation of a Prototypic Catalytic Site." Topics in Catalysis 58(4-6):258-270.  doi:10.1007/s11244-015-0367-z


  • Kerisit SN, B Schwenzer, and M Vijayakumar. 2014. "Effects of Oxygen-Containing Functional Groups on Supercapacitor Performance." Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 5(13):2330-2334.  doi:10.1021/jz500900t
  • Schwenzer B, SN Kerisit, and M Vijayakumar. 2014. "Anion pairs in room temperature ionic liquids predicted by molecular dynamics simulation, verified by spectroscopic characterization." RSC Advances 4(11):5457-5460.  doi:10.1039/C3RA46069J
  • Vijayakumar M, B Schwenzer, V Shutthanandan, JZ Hu, J Liu, and IA Aksay. 2014. "Elucidating graphene - Ionic Liquid interfacial region: a combined experimental and computational study." Nano Energy 3:152-158.  doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2012.09.014


  • Liu J, J Zhang, Z Yang, JP Lemmon, CH Imhoff, GL Graff, L Li, JZ Hu, CM Wang, J Xiao, G Xia, VV Viswanathan, S Baskaran, VL Sprenkle, X Li, Y Shao, and B Schwenzer. 2013. "Materials Science and Materials Chemistry for Large Scale Electrochemical Energy Storage: From Transportation to Electrical Grid." Advanced Functional Materials 23(8):929-946.  doi:10.1002/adfm.201200690
  • Vilayur Ganapathy S, MI Nandasiri, AG Joly, PZ El-Khoury, T Varga, GW Coffey, B Schwenzer, A Pandey, AN Kayani, WP Hess, and S Thevuthasan. 2013. "Silver nanorod arrays for photocathode applications." Applied Physics Letters 103(16):Article No. 161112.  doi:10.1063/1.4825262
  • Xiao L, Y Cao, J Xiao, B Schwenzer, MH Engelhard, LV Saraf, Z Nie, GJ Exarhos, and J Liu. 2013. "Molecular Structures of Polymer/Sulfur Composites for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries with Long Cycle Life." Journal of Materials Chemistry A 1(33):9517-9526.  doi:10.1039/C3TA10865A


  • Schwenzer B, L Wang, JS Swensen, AB Padmaperuma, G Silverman, R Korotkov, and DJ Gaspar. 2012. "Tuning the Optical Properties of Mesoporous TiO2 Films by Nanoscale Engineering." Langmuir 28(26):10072-10081.  doi:10.1021/la301450h
  • Cao Y, L Xiao, ML Sushko, W Wang, B Schwenzer, J Xiao, Z Nie, LV Saraf, Z Yang, and J Liu. 2012. "Sodium Ion Insertion in Hollow Carbon Nanowires for Battery Applications." Nano Letters 12(7):3783-3787.  doi:10.1021/nl3016957
  • Tian J, LV Saraf, B Schwenzer, SM Taylor, EK Brechin, J Liu, SJ Dalgarno, and PK Thallapally. 2012. "Selective Metal Cation Capture by Soft Anionic Metal-Organic Frameworks via Drastic Single-Crystal-to-Single-Crystal Transformations." Journal of the American Chemical Society 134(23):9581-9584.  doi:10.1021/ja303092m
  • Vijayakumar M, B Schwenzer, S Kim, Z Yang, S Thevuthasan, J Liu, GL Graff, and JZ Hu. 2012. "Investigation of Local Environments in Nafion-SiO2 Composite Membranes used in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries." Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 42:71-80.  doi:10.1016/j.ssnmr.2011.11.005
  • Xiao L, Y Cao, J Xiao, B Schwenzer, MH Engelhard, LV Saraf, Z Nie, GJ Exarhos, and J Liu. 2012. "A Soft Approach to Encapsulate Sulfur: Polyaniline Nanotubes for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries with Long Cycle Life." Advanced Materials 24(9):1176-1181.  doi:10.1002/adma.201103392


  • Kim S, TB Tighe, B Schwenzer, J Yan, J Zhang, J Liu, Z Yang, and MA Hickner. 2011. "Chemical and Mechanical Degradation of Sulfonated Poly(sulfone) Membranes in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries." Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 41(10):1201-1213.  doi:10.1007/s10800-011-0313-0
  • Li X, Y Cao, WN Qi, LV Saraf, J Xiao, Z Nie, J Mietek, J Zhang, B Schwenzer, and J Liu. 2011. "Optimization of mesoporous carbon structures for lithium-sulfur battery applications." Journal of Materials Chemistry 21(41):16603-16610.  doi:10.1039/C1JM12979A
  • Schwenzer B, J Zhang, S Kim, L Li, J Liu, and Z Yang. 2011. "Membrane Development for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries." ChemSusChem 4(10):1388 - 1406.  doi:10.1002/cssc.201100068
  • Schwenzer B, S Kim, M Vijayakumar, Z Yang, and J Liu. 2011. "Correlation of Structural Differences between Nafion/Polyaniline and Nafion/Polypyrrole Composite Membranes and Observed Transport Properties." Journal of Membrane Science 372(1-2):11-19 .  doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2011.01.025
  • Vijayakumar M, BM Sivakumar, P Nachimuthu, B Schwenzer, S Kim, Z Yang, J Liu, GL Graff, S Thevuthasan, and JZ Hu. 2011. "Spectroscopic Investigations of the Fouling Process on Nafion Membranes in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries." Journal of Membrane Science 366(1-2):325-334.  doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2010.10.018
  • Zhang J, L Li, Z Nie, B Chen, M Vijayakumar, S Kim, W Wang, B Schwenzer, J Liu, and Z Yang. 2011. "Effects of additives on the stability of electrolytes for all-vanadium redox flow batteries." Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 41(10 - Special Issue S1):1215-1221.  doi:10.1007/s10800-011-0312-1


  • Kim S, J Yan, B Schwenzer, J Zhang, L Li, J Liu, Z Yang, and MA Hickner. 2010. "Cycling performance and efficiency of sulfonated poly(sulfone) membranes in vanadium redox flow batteries ." Electrochemistry Communications 12(11):1650-1653.  doi:10.1016/j.elecom.2010.09.018

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