Brian W. Sheldon Professor of Engineering

Professor Sheldon completed his Sc.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at M.I.T. in 1989. Before joining Brown, he held research staff positions at Amoco Oil and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He currently serves as Editor of the Journal of Materials Science. Other recent activities include chairing the Gordon Research Conference on High Temperature Materials (2006), and serving as Invited Visiting Professor at the Insitut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (Toulouse, France).

Brown Affiliations

scholarly work

A. Tokranov, R. Kumar, C. Li, S. Minne, X. Xiao and B.W. Sheldon, “Control and optimization of the electrochemical and mechanical properties of the solid electrolyte interphase on silicon electrodes in lithium ion batteries”, Advanced Energy Materials, in press (2016).

Y. Yang, X. Liang, W. Chen, L. Cao, M. Li, B.W. Sheldon, and J. Lou,”Quantification and promotion of interfacial interactions between carbon nanotubes and polymer derived ceramics”, Carbon 95, 964-971 (2015).

A.F. Bower, E. Chason, P. Guduru, and B.W. Sheldon, “A continuum model of deformation, transport and irreversible changes in atomic structure in amorphous Lithium-Silicon electrodes”, Acta Materialia98, 229-241 (2015).

X. Su, T. Zhang, X. Liang, H. Gao, and B.W. Sheldon, “Employing Nanoscale Surface Morphologies to Improve Interfacial Adhesion between Solid Electrolytes and Li Ion Battery Cathodes”, Acta Mater 98, 175-181 (2015).

X. Su, M. Viste, J. Hossick-Schott, L. Yang, and B.W. Sheldon, “In-situ Stress during Heat Treatment of Anodic Tantalum Oxide”, ECS J. Solid State Science and Technology 4, N64-N69 (2015).

H. Tanrıöver and B.W. Sheldon, “The Impact of Compositionally Induced Residual Stress on Electrochemical Shock in Battery Electrode Particles”, J. Electrochem Soc 162, A1282-A1288 (2015).

A.J. Kessman, J. Zhang, S. Vasudevan, J. Lou, and B.W. Sheldon, “Carbon nanotube pullout, interfacial properties, and toughening in ceramic nanocomposites: mechanistic insights from single fiber pullout”, Advanced Materials Interfaces 2, 1400110 (2015).

A.K. Kothari, X. Xiao, B.W. Sheldon, and V. Chintapenta, “The impact of nanocrystalline diamond grain boundary chemistry on frictional response in sliding contact with 319Al alloy”, Journal of Materials Science 50, 2993–3003 (2015).

E. Chason, A.M. Engwall, C.M. Miller, C.-H. Chen, A. Bhandari, S.K. Soni, S.J. Hearne, L.B. Freund, B.W. Sheldon, "Stress evolution during growth of 1-D island array: Kinetics and length scaling", Scripta Mater 97, 33-36 (2015).

X. Su, M. Viste, J. Hossick-Schott, L. Yang, and B.W. Sheldon, “Reassessment of degradation mechanisms in anodic tantalum oxide capacitors under high electric fields”, J. Mater. Sci. 50, 960-969 (2015).

A. Mukhopadhyay, R. Kali, S. Badjate, A. Tokranov, and B.W. Sheldon, “Plastic deformation associated with phase transformations during lithiation/delithiation of Sn”, Scripta Mater 92, 47-50 (2014).

K. Ryzewski, H.Z. Bilheux, S.N. Herringer, J-C Bilheux, L. Walker, and B.W. Sheldon, “The Use and Refinement of Neutron Imaging Techniques for Archaeological Artifacts”, Advances in Archaeological Practice 2, 91-103 (2014).

A. Tokranov, B.W. Sheldon, C.Li, S. Minne, and X. Xiao, “In Situ AFM Study of Initial SEI Formation on Silicon Electrodes for Li Ion Batteries”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 6, 6672-6686 (2014).

A. Mukhopadhyay and B.W. Sheldon, “Deformation and stress in electrode materials for Li-ion batteries”, Progress in Materials Science 63, 58–116 (2014).

M.G. Benz, M.W. Benz, S.B. Birnbaum, E. Chason, B.W. Sheldon, and D. McGuire, “Improved Spatial Resolution and Lower Dose Pediatric CT Imaging: A Feasibility Study to Evaluate Narrowing the X-ray Photon Energy Spectrum”, Pediatric Radiology 44, 1026-1030 (2014).

L. Yang, M. Viste, J. Hossick-Schott, B.W. Sheldon Joachim Hossick-Schott, and Brian W. Sheldon, “Understanding internal stress evolution mechanisms associated with field crystallization of anodic tantalum oxide”, Journal of Electroceramics 32, 108-116 (2014).

S.K. Soni, B.W. Sheldon, and S.J. Hearne, “Origins of saccharin-induced stress reduction based on observed fracture behavior of electrodeposited Ni films”, J. Mater. Sci 49, 1399-1407 (2014).

A. Tokranov, B.W. Sheldon, P. Lu, X. Xiao, and A. Mukhopadhyay, “The origin of stress in the solid electrolyte interphase on carbon electrodes for Li ion batteries”, J. Electrochem Soc 161, A58-A65 (2014).

X. Su, Q. Wu, J. Li, X. Xiao, A. Lott, W. Lu, B.W. Sheldon, and J. Wu, “Silicon-based Nanomaterials for Lithium-Ion Batteries - A Review Article”, Adv Energy Mater 4, 1300882 (2014).

X. Su, M. Viste, J. Hossick-Schott, L. Yang, and B.W. Sheldon, “Electrochemically induced stresses in amorphous tantalum oxide films”, J. Electrochem.Soc., 160 H829-H835 (2013).

M. Stournara, X. Xiao, Y. Qi, P. Johari, P. Lu, B.W. Sheldon, H. Gao, V.B. Shenoy, “Li Segregation Induces Structure and Strength Changes at the Amorphous Si/Cu Interface”, Nano Lett13, 4759−4768 (2013).

B.W. Sheldon, S. Mandowara, and J. Rankin, “Grain boundary induced compositional stress in nanocrystalline ceria films”, Solid State Ionics 233 38–46 (2013).

A. Mukhopadhyay, F. Guo, A. Tokranov, X. Xiao, R.H. Hurt, and B.W. Sheldon, “Engineering of graphene layer orientation to attain high rate capability and anisotropic properties in Li-ion battery electrodes”, Adv. Functional Mater 23, 2397-2404 (2013).

A.K. Kothari, B.W. Sheldon, G.Eres, “Thickness limitations in carbon nanotube reinforced silicon nitride coatings synthesized by vapor infiltration”, Acta Mater 60, 7104-7111 (2012).

S.K. Soni, B.W. Sheldon, X. Xiao, A.F. Bower, and M.W. Verbrugge, “Diffusion mediated lithiation in Si thin film electrodes”, J. Electrochem. Soc 159, A1520-A1527 (2012).

L. Yang, M. Viste, J. Hossick-Schott, B.W. Sheldon, “Internal stress evolution during field-induced crystallization of anodic tantalum oxide”, Electrochimica Acta 81 (2012) 90– 97 (2012).

A. Kothari, S. Hu, Z. Xia, B.W. Sheldon, and E. Konca, "Enhanced fracture toughness in carbon nanotube reinforced amorphous silicon nitride nanocomposite coatings", Acta Mater. 60, 3333-3339 (2012).

A. Mukhopadhyay, A. Tokranov, X. Xiao, and B.W. Sheldon, “Stress development due to surface processes in graphite electrodes for Li-ion Batteries”, Electrochimica Acta 66 28-37 (2012).

H. Haftbaradaran, S.K. Soni, B.W. Sheldon, X. Xiao, and H. Gao, “Modified Stoney formula for patterned thin film electrodes on substrates”, J. Appl. Mech. 79, 031018-031023 (2012).

B.W. Sheldon, S.K. Soni, X. Xiao, and Y. Qi, "Stress Contributions to Solution Thermodynamics in Li-Si Alloys", Electrochem.Solid State. Lett 15, A9-A11 (2012).

S.K. Soni, B.W. Sheldon, X. Xiao, M. Verbrugge, H. Gao, D. Ahn, and H. Haftbaradaran, "Stress mitigation during the lithiation of patterned amorphous Si islands", J. Electrochem. Soc. 159, A38-A43 (2012)

L. Yang, Y. Li, B.W. Sheldon, and T.J. Webster, "Altering surface energy of nanocrystalline diamond to control osteoblast response", J. Mater. Chem. 22, 205-214 (2012).

B.W. Sheldon, J.D. Nicholas, and S. Mandowara, "Tensile stress evolution during the early stage constrained sintering of gadolinium doped ceria films", J. Amer. Ceram. Soc. 94, 209-216 (2011).

F. Guo, A. Mukhopadhyay, B.W. Sheldon and R.H. Hurt, "Vertically Aligned Graphene Layer Arrays from Chromonic Liquid Crystal Precursors", Adv Mater. 23, 508-513 (2011).

K. Ryzewski, B.W. Sheldon, S.E. Alcock, M. Mankin, S. Vasudevan, and N. Sinnott-Armstrong, "Multiple Assessments of Local Properties, Production and Performance in Metal Objects: An Experimental Case Study from Petra, Jordan", Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 3, 173-184 (2011).

I. Milas, Y. Qi, B.W. Sheldon, and V.B. Shenoy, "First-principles study of void induced stresses at a diamond (100) grain boundary", J. Appl. Phys. 109, 033518 (2011). (also republished in Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology, February 28, 2011).

A. Mukhopadhyay, A. Tokranov, K. Sena, X. Xiao, and B.W. Sheldon, "Thin Film Graphite Electrodes with Low Stress Generation During Li-intercalation", Carbon 49, 2742-2749 (2011).

B.W. Sheldon and V.B. Shenoy, "Space Charge Induced Surface Stresses: Implications in Ceria and Other Ionic Solids", Phys. Rev.Lett. 106, 216104 (2011).

L. Yang, Brian W. Sheldon, and Thomas J. Webster, "Nanophase Ceramics for Improved Drug Delivery: Current Opportunities and Challenges", Bull. Amer. Ceram. Soc. 89, 24-32 (2010).

X. Xiao, A.K. Sachdev, D. Haddad, Y. Li, B.W. Sheldon, and S.K. Soni, "Stress induced Sn Nanowires from Si-Sn Nanocomposite Coatings", Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 141904 (2010).

R. Pareta, L. Yang, A. Kothari, S. Sirinrath, X. Xiao, B.W. Sheldon,and T.J. Webster, "Tailoring nanocrystalline diamond coated on titanium for osteoblast adhesion", J. Biomed Mater Res A 95A, 129-136 (2010).

S.K. Soni, B.W. Sheldon, A. Tokranov, and X. Xiao, "Thickness effects on the lithiation of amorphous silicon thin films", Scripta Mater 64, 307-310 (2010).

Y. Qi, B.W. Sheldon, H. Guo, X. Xiao, and A.K. Kothari, "The impact of surface chemistry on grain boundary induced intrinsic stress evolution during polycrystalline thin film growth", Phys. Rev. Letter 102, 056101 (2009).

L. Yang, B.W. Sheldon, and T.J. Webster, "Orthopedic Diamond Coatings: Control of Surface Properties and Their Impact on Osteoblast Adhesion and Proliferation", J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A, 91A, 548-556 (2009).

A. Bhandari, S.J. Hearne, B.W. Sheldon, and S.K. Soni, "Microstructural origins of saccharin induced stress reduction in electrodeposited Ni", J. Electrochem. Soc. 156, D279-D282 (2009).

A. Kothari, E. Konca, B.W. Sheldon, K. Jian, H. Li, Z. Xia, W. Ni, and R. Hurt, "Mechanical behavior of anodic alumina coatings reinforced with carbon nanofibers", Journal of Materials Science 44, 6020–6027 (2009).

L. Yang, B.W. Sheldon, and T.J. Webster, "The impact of diamond nano-topography on osteoblast functions", Biomaterials 30, 3458-65 (2009).

X. Xiao, B.W. Sheldon, E. Konca, L. Lev, and M.J. Lukitsch, "The failure mechanism of chromium as the interlayer to enhance the adhesion of nanocrystalline diamond coatings on cemented carbide", Diamond and Related Materials 18, 1114-17 (2009).

X. Xiao, Y.-T. Cheng, B.W. Sheldon, J. Rankin, "Condensed water on superhydrophobic carbon films", J. Mater. Res. 23, 2174-2178 (2008).

S. Bhatia and B.W. Sheldon, "Compositional stresses and diffusion in polycrystalline titania films", J. Am. Ceram Soc. 91, 3986-3993 (2008).

A.K. Kothari, K.Jian, J.Rankin, and B.W. Sheldon, "Comparison between carbon nanotube and carbon nanofiber reinforcements in amorphous silicon nitride coatings", J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 91, 2743-2746 (2008).

V. Gill, P.R. Guduru, and B.W. Sheldon, "Electric field induced surface diffusion and micro/nano-scale island growth", Int. J. Solids and Structures 45, 943-958 (2008).

Adi Ditkowski, Abhinav Bhandari, and Brian W. Sheldon, "Computing Derivatives of Noisy Signals Using Orthogonal Functions Expansions", J. of Scientific Computing 36, 333-349 (2008).

X. Xiao, B.W. Sheldon, Y. Qi, and A.K. Kothari, "Intrinsic stress evolution in nanocrystalline diamond thin films with deposition temperature", Applied Physics Letters 92, 131908 (2008).

S. Mandowara and B.W. Sheldon, "Compositional Stresses in Polycrystalline Ceria Films", Electrochemical Society Transactions 11 (33), 191-196 (2008).

S. Sirivisoot, C. Yao, X. Xiao, B.W. Sheldon, and T.J. Webster, "Greater osteoblast functions on multiwalled carbon nanotubes grown from anodized nanotubular titanium for orthopedic applications", Nanotechnology 18, 36102 (2007).

J. Tello, A.F. Bower, E. Chason, B.W. Sheldon, "A kinetic model of stress evolution during coalescence and growth of polycrystalline thin films", Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 216104 (2007).

B.W. Sheldon, A. Bhandari, A.F. Bower, S. Raghavan, X. Weng, J.M Redwing, "Steady-state tensile stresses during the growth of polycrystalline films" Acta. Mater. 55, 4973-82 (2007).

J.D. Jarrell, T.E. Eun, M. Samale, C. Briant, B.W. Sheldon, J. Rankin, and J.R. Morgan, "Metal oxide coated (MOC) cell culture arrays for rapid biological screening", J. Biomed. Mater. Res 83, 853-860 (2007).

Abhinav Bhandari, Sean J. Hearne, and Brian W. Sheldon, "Stress creation during constrained thin film island coalescence", J. Appl. Phys. 101, 033528 (2007).

M. Imboden, P. Mohanty, A. Gaidarzhy, J. Rankin, and B.W. Sheldon, "Scaling of dissipation in megahertz-range micromechanical diamond oscillators", Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 173502 (2007).

A. Gaidarzhy, M. Imboden, P. Mohanty, J. Rankin, and B.W. Sheldon, "High quality factor gigahertz frequencies in nanomechanical diamond resonators", Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 203503 (2007).

A.Yan, X. Xiao, I. Kulaots, B.W. Sheldon, and R.H. Hurt, "Controlling water contact angle on carbon surfaces from 5 to 167 degrees", Carbon (Letters) 44, 3116-3120 (2006).

Hao Li, Brian W. Sheldon, A. Kothari, Z. Ban, and B.L. Walden, "Stress evolution in nanocrystalline diamond films produced by chemical vapor deposition", J. Appl. Phys. 100, 094309 (2006).

Kengqing Jian, Robert H. Hurt, Brian W. Sheldon, and Gregory P. Crawford, "Visualization of Liquid Crystal Director Fields within Carbon Nanotube Cavities", Appl. Phys Lett. 88, 163110 (2006).

H. Li, A. Kothari, and B. W. Sheldon, "Synthesis of carbon nanotube and silicon carbide nanofibers as composite reinforcing materials", Ceram Engin Science Proc 27, 41-48 (2006).

S.M. Park, H. Li, B. Sheldon, and H. Du, "Fabrication of a composite structure of three-dimensional macroporous silica and carbon nanofilaments", J. Mater. Res. 20, 2498-2502 (2005).

Christopher Chan, Gregory Crawford, Yuming Gao, Robert Hurt, Kengqing Jian, Hao Li, Brian W. Sheldon, Matthew Sousa, and Nancy Yang, "Liquid Crystal Engineering of Carbon Nanofibers and Nanotubes", Carbon 43, 2431-2440 (2005).

Ram Krishnamurthy, Janet Rankin, and Brian W. Sheldon, "Oxidation of SiC/Porous Al2O3 Laminated Ceramic Composites", J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 88, 1549-1557 (2005).

Ram Krishnamurthy, Janet Rankin, and Brian W. Sheldon, "Effect of Oxidation on Crack Deflection in SiC / Al2O3 Laminated Ceramic Composites", J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 88, 1362-1365 (2005).

Ram Krishnamurthy, Brian W. Sheldon, and J. Allen Haynes, "Stability of Mullite Protective Coatings for Si-Based Ceramics", J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 88, 1099-1107 (2005).

B.W. Sheldon, A. Rajamani, A. Bhandari, E. Chason, S.K. Hong, and R. Beresford, "Competition between tensile and compressive stress mechanisms during Volmer-Weber growth of aluminum nitride films", J. Appl. Phys. 98, 043509 (2005).

W.A. Curtin and B.W. Sheldon, "Review: CNT-reinforced ceramics and metals", Materials Today, Nov., 44-49 (2004).

Z. Xia, W.A. Curtin, and B.W. Sheldon, "Fracture Toughness of Highly Ordered Carbon Nanotube / Alumina Nanocomposites", Transactions of the ASME, 126, 238-244 (2004).

B.W. Sheldon and W.A. Curtin, "Nanoceramic Composites: Tough to Test" Nature Materials 3, 505-6 (2004).

Z. Xia, L. Riester, B.W. Sheldon, W.A. Curtin, J.Y. Liang, A. Yin,and J.M. Xu, "Mechanical properties of highly ordered nanoporous anodic alumina membranes", Rev. Adv. Mater. Sci 6, 34-40 (2004).

Z. Xia, W.A. Curtin, and B.W. Sheldon, "A new method to evaluate the fracture toughness of thin films", Acta. Mater. 52, 3507-17 (2004).

R. Krishnamurthy and B.W. Sheldon, "Stresses due to oxygen potential gradients in non-stoichiometric oxides", Acta. Mater. 52, 1807-1822 (2004).

Z. Xia, L. Riester, W.A. Curtin, H. Li, B.W. Sheldon, J.Y. Liang, B.H. Chang, and J.M. Xu, "Direct observation of toughening mechanisms in carbon-nanotube ceramic matrix composites", Acta. Mater. 52, 931-944 (2004).

A. Rajamani, B.W. Sheldon, S. Nijhawan, J. Rankin, A.F. Schwartzman, L. Riester, and B.L. Walden, "Chemistry-induced intrinsic stress variations during the chemical vapor deposition of polycrystalline diamond", J. Appl. Phys. 96, 3531-39 (2004).

research overview

My research focuses on the formation and mechanical behavior of advanced ceramic materials, particularly thin films and coatings. We are primarily interested in understanding fundamental mechanisms, however these materials are used in a wide range of applications. Currently, we are devoting significant efforts to electrode materials for Li ion batteries. Our ongoing work is also directly related to materials for MEMS, nanocomposite protective coatings, and oxides for sensors and fuel cells.

research statement

Professor Sheldon's current research is focused in three general areas. Our largest current effort is on understanding stress evolution and mechanical degradation in electrodes for Li ion batteries. This includes work on carbon materials (in collaboration with Prof. Hurt), composite electrodes containing Si and C, and several different oxides.

A second current research effort is based on compositionally induced stresses due to oxidation-reduction in non-stoichiometric oxides such as ceria, a material which is of considerable interest for solid oxide fuel cells.

The third major focus of Prof. Sheldon's research is ceramic composite coatings reinforced with nanotubes and nanofibers. This is an interdisciplinary collaboration with Prof. Curtin, where our prior work provides the first direct evidence of toughening mechanisms in ceramic composites reinforced with carbon nanotubes.

Prof. Sheldon's group regularly collaborates with a number of other researchers. At Brown, these include Profs. Chason, Rankin, and Webster in the Materials Group, Profs. Bower, Curtin, Gao, Kim, and Shenoy in the Solid Mechanics Group, and Prof. Hurt in the FTCP Group. We also collaborate with Prof. Barbara Walden at Trinity College, Dr. Sean Hearne at Sandia National Laboratory, Dr. Gyula Eres at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Drs. Yue Qi and Xingcheng Xiao at General Motors.