Leo Small


Leo Small

Materials Scientist

Contact Information

Leo Small / (505) 844-9987


Leo Small is a materials scientist and electrochemist at Sandia National Laboratories. He received his B.S. degree from Cornell University and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, both in Materials Science. Over the past ten years, his work at Sandia National Laboratories has spanned the gamut from electrochemical energy storage technologies, to toxics gas sensors, to corrosion and electrochemistry of ferroelectrics. His research interests include impedance spectroscopy, solid state ion conductors, and materials integration and characterization of electrochemical systems, including energy storage technologies such as sodium batteries and redox flow batteries.

Research Interests

Materials for electrochemical energy storage, especially solid state ion conductors, membranes and separators

Application of impedance spectroscopy to dynamic electrochemical systems

Surface chemistries to control ion movement at interfaces


Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), 2012

B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), 2009

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Leo Small

Key Publications

L.J. Small, R.C. Hill, J. Krumhansl, M.E. Schindelholz, Z. Chen, K. Chapman, X. Zhang, S. Yang, M. Schroder, T.M. Nenoff “Reversible MOF-Based Sensors for the Electrical Detection of Iodine Gas” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, vol. 11, pp. 27982-27988, 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b09938.

E.D. Spoerke, L.J. Small, M.E. Foster, J.S. Wheeler, A.M. Ullman, V. Stavila, M. Rodriguez, M.D. Allendorf “MOF-Sensitized Solar Cells Enabled by a Pillared Porphyrin Framework” J. Phys. Chem. C, vol. 121, pp. 4816-4824, 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b11251.

N.S. Hudak, L.J. Small, H.D. Pratt, T.M. Anderson “Through-Plane Conductivities of Membranes for Non-Aqueous Flow Batteries” J. Electrochem. Soc., vol. 162, pp. A2188-A2194, 2015, DOI: 10.1149/2.0901510jes.

L.J. Small, T.M. Nenoff “Direct Electrical Detection of Iodine Gas by a Novel Metal-Organic-Framework-Based Sensor” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, vol. 9, pp. 44649-44655, 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b16381.

J.T. Graham, G.L. Brennecka, P. Ferreira, L. Small, D. Duquette, C. Apblett, S. Landsberger, J.F. Ihlefeld “Neutron irradiation effects on domain wall mobility and reversibility in lead zirconate titanate thin films” J. Appl. Phys., vol. 113, pp. 124104, 2013, DOI: 10.1063/1.4795869.

Key Patents

J.A. Bock, E.D. Spoerke, H.J. Brown-Shaklee, L.J. Small “Solution-Assisted Densification of NaSICON Ceramics” US Patent Application, # 62/963,980, Jan. 21, 2020.

E.D. Spoerke, M.M. Gross, S.J. Percival, L.J. Small “Surface Treatments of NaSICON Ceramics for Improved Sodium Electrochemical Interfaces” US Patent Application # 62/940,697, Nov. 26, 2019.

E.D. Spoerke, S.J. Percival, L.J. Small “Molten Inorganic Electrolytes for Low Temperature Sodium Batteries” US Patent Application # 16/564,751. Sep. 2019.

L.J. Small, E. D. Spoerke “Alternating Current Electrodialysis” US Application # 16/691,333, Nov. 21, 2019.

L.J. Small, S.J. Percival, E.D. Spoerke “Nanostructured polyelectrolytes for electrodialysis membranes” US Application # 16/128,081, Jun. 10, 2020.

L.J. Small, T.M. Nenoff “Sensor for the Direct Detection of Iodine,” US Application # 15/937,298.

L.J. Small, H.D. Pratt, T.M. Anderson “Nonaqueous Redox Flow Battery Electrolyte Comprising an Ionic Liquid with a Metal Cation Coordinated to Redox-Active Ligands” US Patent No. 10,305,133 B2, May 28, 2019.

L.J. Small, P.G. Clem, E.D. Spoerke “Electroless Process for Depositing Refractory Metals” US Patent No. 10,263,241 B2, Apr. 16, 2019.

E.D. Spoerke, P.G. Clem, J.S. Wheeler, L.J. Small, J.F. Ihlefeld “Cation-enhanced chemical stability of ion-conducting zirconium-based ceramics” US Patent No. 9,988,312 B2, June 5, 2018.

E.D. Spoerke, J F. Ihlefeld, K. Waldrip, J.S. Wheeler, H.J Brown-Shaklee, L.J. Small, D.R. Wheeler “Electrochemical Ion Separation in Molten Salts” US Patent No. 9,847,149 B2. Dec. 19, 2017.

L.J. Small, D.R. Wheeler, E.D. Spoerke “Method to Fabricate Functionalized Conical Nanopores” US Patent No. 9,387,444 B2, July 12, 2016.