Skip to content

Dr. Shannon Boettcher

Dr. Shannon Boettcher



Phone: 541-346-2543


1253 University of Oregon

Eugene, OR 97403


Prof. Boettcher has broad expertise in fundamental electrochemistry and inorganic materials science. He is a leader in the development and understanding of mixed-metal (oxy)hydroxide water oxidation catalysts in alkaline medium.1-7 When properly incorporated with Fe-based active sites these materials are the fastest-known water oxidation catalysts. Boettcher invented new methods for the direct interrogation of electrocatalyst/semiconductor interfaces in operating photoelectrodes, both at the macroscopic8-10 and nanoscale11-12 using potential-sensing electrochemical AFM. This work revealed new “adaptive” junction physics that his team explained with theory and simulation.13 His work has further spanned the development of low-cost vapor-transport growth of high-performance III-V semiconductors,14-17 redox-enhanced electrochemical capacitors,18-22 and functional thin films.23-25 His team has recently launched a systematic study of water-dissociation kinetics, discovered underlying trends, and used this foundational information to improve the performance of bipolar membranes 10-fold over the state of the art.26

(1)          Trotochaud, L.; Ranney, J. K.; Williams, K. N.; Boettcher, S. W., Solution-Cast Metal Oxide Thin Film Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Evolution. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 17253-17261.

(2)          Trotochaud, L.; Young, S. L.; Ranney, J. K.; Boettcher, S. W., Nickel-Iron Oxyhydroxide Oxygen-Evolution Electrocatalysts: The Role of Intentional and Incidental Iron Incorporation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 6744-6753.

(3)          Burke, M. S.; Enman, L. J.; Batchellor, A. S.; Zou, S.; Boettcher, S. W., Oxygen Evolution Reaction Electrocatalysis on Transition Metal Oxides and (Oxy)hydroxides: Activity Trends and Design Principles. Chem. Mater. 2015, 27, 7549-7558.

(4)          Burke, M. S.; Kast, M. G.; Trotochaud, L.; Smith, A. M.; Boettcher, S. W., Cobalt-Iron (Oxy)hydroxide Oxygen Evolution Electrocatalysts: The Role of Structure and Composition on Activity, Stability, and Mechanism. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 3638-3648.

(5)          Enman, L. J.; Stevens, M. B.; Dahan, M. H.; Nellist, M. R.; Toroker, M. C.; Boettcher, S. W., Operando X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy Shows Iron Oxidation Is Concurrent with Oxygen Evolution in Cobalt–Iron (Oxy)hydroxide Electrocatalysts. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 12840-12844.

(6)          Stevens, M. B.; Enman, L. J.; Batchellor, A. S.; Cosby, M. R.; Vise, A. E.; Trang, C. D. M.; Boettcher, S. W., Measurement Techniques for the Study of Thin Film Heterogeneous Water Oxidation Electrocatalysts. Chem. Mater. 2017, 29, 120-140.

(7)          Stevens, M. B.; Trang, C. D. M.; Enman, L. J.; Deng, J.; Boettcher, S. W., Reactive Fe-Sites in Ni/Fe (Oxy)hydroxide Are Responsible for Exceptional Oxygen Electrocatalysis Activity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 11361-11364.

(8)          Lin, F.; Boettcher, S. W., Adaptive semiconductor/electrocatalyst junctions in water-splitting photoanodes. Nat. Mater. 2014, 13, 81-86.

(9)          Laskowski, F. A. L.; Nellist, M. R.; Venkatkarthick, R.; Boettcher, S. W., Junction behavior of n-Si photoanodes protected by thin Ni elucidated from dual working electrode photoelectrochemistry. Energy Environ. Sci. 2017, 10, 570-579.

(10)        Qiu, J.; Hajibabaei, H.; Nellist, M. R.; Laskowski, F. A. L.; Hamann, T. W.; Boettcher, S. W., Direct in Situ Measurement of Charge Transfer Processes During Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation on Catalyzed Hematite. ACS Cent. Sci. 2017, 3, 1015-1025.

(11)        Laskowski, F. A. L.; Oener, S. Z.; Nellist, M. R.; Gordon, A. M.; Bain, D. C.; Fehrs, J. L.; Boettcher, S. W., Nanoscale semiconductor/catalyst interfaces in photoelectrochemistry. Nat. Mater. 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-019-0488-z.

(12)        Nellist, M. R.; Laskowski, F. A. L.; Qiu, J.; Hajibabaei, H.; Sivula, K.; Hamann, T. W.; Boettcher, S. W., Potential-sensing electrochemical atomic force microscopy for in operando analysis of water-splitting catalysts and interfaces. Nature Energy 2018, 3, 46-52.

(13)        Mills, T. J.; Lin, F.; Boettcher, S. W., Theory and Simulations of Electrocatalyst-Coated Semiconductor Electrodes for Solar Water Splitting. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2014, 112, 148304.

(14)        Ritenour, A. J.; Boucher, J. W.; DeLancey, R.; Greenaway, A. L.; Aloni, S.; Boettcher, S. W., Doping and electronic properties of GaAs grown by close-spaced vapor transport from powder sources for scalable III-V photovoltaics. Energy Environ. Sci. 2015, 8, 278-285.

(15)        Greenaway, A. L.; Davis, A. L.; Boucher, J. W.; Ritenour, A. J.; Aloni, S.; Boettcher, S. W., Gallium arsenide phosphide grown by close-spaced vapor transport from mixed powder sources for low-cost III-V photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical devices. J. Mater. Chem. A 2016, 4, 2909-2918.

(16)        Greenaway, A. L.; Sharps, M. C.; Boucher, J. W.; Strange, L. E.; Kast, M. G.; Aloni, S.; Boettcher, S. W., Selective Area Epitaxy of GaAs Microstructures by Close-Spaced Vapor Transport for Solar Energy Conversion Applications. ACS Energy Lett. 2016, 1, 402-408.

(17)        Greenaway, A. L.; Bachman, B. F.; Boucher, J. W.; Funch, C. J.; Aloni, S.; Boettcher, S. W., Water-Vapor-Mediated Close-Spaced Vapor Transport Growth of Epitaxial Gallium Indium Phosphide Films on Gallium Arsenide Substrates. ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2018, 1, 284-289.

(18)        Chun, S.-E.; Evanko, B.; Wang, X.; Vonlanthen, D.; Ji, X.; Stucky, G. D.; Boettcher, S. W., Design of aqueous redox-enhanced electrochemical capacitors with high specific energies and slow self-discharge. Nature Communications 2015, 6.

(19)        Evanko, B.; Yoo, S. J.; Chun, S.-E.; Wang, X.; Ji, X.; Boettcher, S. W.; Stucky, G. D., Efficient Charge Storage in Dual-Redox Electrochemical Capacitors through Reversible Counterion-Induced Solid Complexation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 9373-9376.

(20)        Evanko, B.; Boettcher, S. W.; Yoo, S. J.; Stucky, G. D., Redox-Enhanced Electrochemical Capacitors: Status, Opportunity, and Best Practices for Performance Evaluation. ACS Energy Lett. 2017, 2, 2581-2590.

(21)        Yoo, S. J.; Evanko, B.; Wang, X.; Romelczyk, M.; Taylor, A.; Ji, X.; Boettcher, S. W.; Stucky, G. D., Fundamentally Addressing Bromine Storage through Reversible Solid-State Confinement in Porous Carbon Electrodes: Design of a High-Performance Dual-Redox Electrochemical Capacitor. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 9985-9993.

(22)        Evanko, B.; Yoo, S. J.; Lipton, J.; Chun, S.-E.; Moskovits, M.; Ji, X.; Boettcher, S. W.; Stucky, G. D., Stackable bipolar pouch cells with corrosion-resistant current collectors enable high-power aqueous electrochemical energy storage. Energy Environ. Sci. 2018, 10.1039/C8EE00546J.

(23)        Nadarajah, A.; Carnes, M. E.; Kast, M. G.; Johnson, D. W.; Boettcher, S. W., Aqueous Solution Processing of F-Doped SnO2 Transparent Conducting Oxide Films Using a Reactive Tin(II) Hydroxide Nitrate Nanoscale Cluster. Chem. Mater. 2013, 25, 4080-4087.

(24)        Nadarajah, A.; Wu, M. Z. B.; Archila, K.; Kasti, M. G.; Smith, A. M.; Chiang, T. H.; Keszler, D. A.; Wager, J. F.; Boettcher, S. W., Amorphous In-Ga-Zn Oxide Semiconducting Thin Films with High Mobility from Electrochemically Generated Aqueous Nanocluster Inks. Chem. Mater. 2015, 27, 5587-5596.

(25)        Kast, M. G.; Cochran, E. A.; Enman, L. J.; Mitchson, G.; Ditto, J.; Siefe, C.; Plassmeyer, P. N.; Greenaway, A. L.; Johnson, D. C.; Page, C. J.; Boettcher, S. W., Amorphous Mixed-Metal Oxide Thin Films from Aqueous Solution Precursors with Near-Atomic Smoothness. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 16800-16808.

(26)        Oener, S. Z.; Foster, M.; Boettcher, S. W., Accelerating water dissociation in bipolar membranes and electrocatlaysts. Re-revised manuscript under consideration at Science 2020.


Education & Professional Experience

Associate Professor: University of Oregonearly tenure effective Sept. 2015.

Areas: Electrochemistry, Materials Chemistry, Photoelectrochemistry, Photovoltaics, Electrolysis

Awards: DuPont Young Professor (2011), UO Early Career Research Award (2014), Cottrell Scholar Award (2014), Sloan Fellow (2015), Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award (2015), University of Oregon Fund for Faculty Excellence (2016), Young Innovator Award in NanoEnergy (2019), 2019 ISI Highly Cited Researcher (top 0.1% in field over past decade)

Senior EditorACS Energy Letters (2016-2017)

Assistant Professor: University of Oregon, ONAMI Signature Researcher, Materials Science Institute (2010 – 2015).

Postdoctoral: California Institute of Technology, (2008 – 2010), with Nathan Lewis and Harry Atwater.

Area: Study of Si wire-arrays for photoelectrochemical energy conversion

Major Awards: Kavli Nanoscience Institute Prize Postdoctoral Scholar.

Graduate: University of California, Santa Barbara (2008), with Galen Stucky (see Galen’s Periodic table)

Area: Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry – Electronic properties of nanocomposites and nanoparticle interfaces

Major Awards: NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2003-2006), UC Chancellor’s Fellow (2007).

Undergraduate: University of Oregon, (2003).

Major: B.A. Chemistry Minor: Physics

Major Awards: Presidential Scholar (1998-2002), Barry M. Goldwater Scholar (2001-2003).


Shannon Boettcher is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon and a member of the Materials Science Institute. His research interests center on developing inorganic materials for solar energy conversion and storage. Current efforts focus on the synthesis and study of heterogeneous electrocatalysts with precise molecular and nanoscale structures for the water oxidation reaction, the development of alternative deposition routes for high-performance III-V semiconductors such as GaAs and GaAsP, understanding the details of interfaces between semiconductors and electrocatalysts in water-splitting photoelectrodes, and in designing new device concepts for “redox-enhanced” electrochemical pseudocapacitors.

Boettcher received his B.A. in chemistry with a physics emphasis at the University of Oregon in 2003 where he was a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. He received his Ph.D. in Inorganic Materials Chemistry with Galen Stucky at UC Santa Barbara in 2008 where he was an NSF Graduate Research and UC Chancellor’s Fellow. As a Kavli Nanoscience Institute Prize Postdoctoral Scholar, he studied three-dimensional Si structures for solar energy conversion and storage at the California Institute of Technology working with Nate Lewis (Chemistry) and Harry Atwater (Applied Physics). In 2010, he joined the Chemistry Department at the University of Oregon and in 2011 was named one of 18 DuPont Young Professors worldwide. In 2014 he was named a Cottrell Scholar and in 2015 a Sloan Fellow and Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Awardee. In 2019 he was listed as an ISI Highly Cited Researcher (top 0.1% in his field).