Tsun-Kong (T.K.) Sham


Contact Information

Title: Distinguished University Professor
Office: Rm 030A ChB,
Lab: Rm 030C, 032, 042, 125
Phone (Office): ext 86341
Phone (Lab): 86297
E-mail: tsham@uwo.ca

Physical & Analytical Teaching Division

Materials: Design, Function and Characterization

Electronic Structure, Synchrotron Spectroscopy and Energy Materials

Group Website


B.Sc. Chinese University of Hong Kong 1971; Ph.D. University of Western Ontario, 1975


  • Chemical Institute of Canada Montreal Medal (2023)
  • Allen Pratt Award, Canadian Light Source (2017)
  • Hellmuth Prize (2017)
  • Officer of Order of Canada (2016)
  • Distinguished University Professor (2015)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2012)
  • Canada Research Chair (2002-2023)
  • The Canadian Society for Chemistry John C. Polanyi Award (2010)
  • Distinguished Research Professor (UWO) (2005)
  • Award of Merit of The Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals (Ontario) (2004)
  • Florence Bucke Science Prize (1994)
  • Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Professor (Institute of Molecular Science, 1992, Hiroshima University, 1998)


Materials and Synchrotron Radiation

Dr. Sham’s research interests are materials and the development and application of synchrotron radiation, especially in materials design, and electronic structure-functionality correlation. Expertise includes nanomaterial synthesis, bimetallic and semiconductor materials, surface and interface, photoemission, X-ray absorption, photon-in photon-out techniques (X-ray emission, X-ray excited optical luminescence, resonant and non-resonant inelastic X-ray scattering) and X-ray microscopy. Recent interests are nanostructure phase transition, nano-heterostructures and nanocomposites, in situ/operando synchrotron studies of energy devices (batteries, fuel cells, catalysis and light emission), X-ray excited optical luminescence in the energy and time domain, nanomaterials for drug delivery, microbeam analysis of tissues, and cultural heritage materials.

Major ongoing thrusts are (1) synthesis, assembly and characterization of nanomaterials, heterostructures in the nanodomain and composites; (2) development and applications of synchrotron capabilities at the Canadian Light Source, a national facility in Saskatoon and the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

Dr Sham has engaged over one hundred Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) at all levels (PhD, MSc, BSc, PDF, visiting scientist and international collaborator) in research.  Many of them are now holding key positions in academia, industry, and government.

Professional Activities:

Director, Soochow University-Western University Centre for Synchrotron Radiation Research (2012-2023); Co-organizer, Synchrotron Radiation Symposium Pacifichem, Honolulu, December, (2020); Chair, Ontario Synchrotron Consortium (2006 - ); Member, Board of Directors of the Canadian Light Source (2001-2006); Chair, International X-ray Absorption Society (IXAS) (2003-2006).


  • 1050 - Discovering Chemistry
  • 1200b - Discovering Chemistry II
  • 2214b - Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
  • 3364b - Physical Chemistry of Materials
  • 9724y - Materials Analysis Using Synchrotron Radiation
  • 9774Q - Synchrotron and Materials I
  • 9784Q - Synchrotron and Materials II


  • L. Yao, J. Chen, Z. Wang, T.-K. Sham, “TiO2 Nanotubes: Morphology, Size, Crystallinity, and Phase-Dependent Properties from Synchrotron-Spectroscopy StudiesJ. Phys. Chem. C, 2022, 126, 6, 3265–3275. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.1c10577
  • X. Wang, M. Chu, M. Wang, Q. Zhong, J. Chen, Z. Wang, M. Cao, H. Yang, T. Cheng, J. Chen, T.-K. Sham, Q. Zhang, ”Unveiling the Local Structure and Electronic Properties of PdBi Surface Alloy for Selective Hydrogenation of Propyne” ACS Nano, 2022, 16, 10, 16869–16879, https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.2c06834
  • J. Chen, Z. Finfrock, Z.Q. Wang, T.K. Sham, “Valence-to-core (VTC) X-ray emission from Pt-Ni alloys: Strain and ligand effects on the Pt 5d densities of states in the valence band" Scientific Report, 2021, 11, 13698(1-8)  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93068-0
  • J. Chen, Y.-M. Yiu, Z. Wang, D. Covelli, R. Sammynaiken, Y. Zou Finfrock, T.-K. Sham, “Elucidating the Many-Body Effect and Anomalous Pt and Ni Core Levels Shifts in XPS of Pt-Ni Alloys”,  J. Phys. Chem. C, 2020, 124, 4, 2313–2318, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b09940
  • M. S. Kozachuk1, T.-K. Sham, R. R. Martin, A. Nelson, I. Coulthard and J. P. McElhone, “Recovery of Degraded-Beyond-Recognition 19th Century Daguerreotypes with Rapid High Dynamic Range Elemental X-ray Fluorescence Imaging of Mercury L Emission”, Scientific Report, 2018, 8, 9565(1-10) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-27714-5