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Megan M. Butala, Ph.D.

Materials Department
University of California Santa Barbara CA 93106


In my PhD research, I study alternative electrode and electrolyte materials to improve the performance, cost, and safety of batteries. Specifically, I work to elucidate information about the mechanisms by which these alternative materials function and the source of their desirable energy storage characteristics.


September 2012–June 2017 PhD, Materials, University of California Santa Barbara
Advisor: Ram Seshadri

June 2015 Visiting researcher, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Advisor: Clare P. Grey

September 2007–June 2012 BS, Materials Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Advisor: Blair London

When not doing research, I enjoy modern dance, yoga, camping, cooking, and eating ...


My CV, as a PDF file.


  • 8. M. M. Butala, V. V. T. Doan-Nguyen, A. J. Lehner, C. Göbel, M. A. Lumley, S. Arnon, K. M. Wiaderek, O. J. Borkiewicz, K. W. Chapman, P. J. Chupas, M. Balasubramanian, and R. Seshadri, et al. Operando Local Structure Studies Reveal the Origin of Capacity Fade in the Li–CoS2 System. In preparation.

  • 7. M. M. Butala, M. A. Perez, S. Arnon, C. Göbel, M. B. Preefer, and R. Seshadri. Rapid Microwave-Assisted Preparation of Binary and Ternary Transition Metal Sulfide Compounds. Submitted.

  • 6. M. M. Butala, M. Mayo, V. V. T. Doan-Nguyen, M. A. Lumley, C. Göbel, K. M. Wiaderek, O. J. Borkiewicz, K. W. Chapman, P. J. Chupas, M. Balasubramanian, G. Laurita, S. Britto, A. J. Morris, C. P. Grey, and R. Seshadri. Local Structure Evolution and Modes of Charge Storage in Secondary Li–FeS2 Cells. Chem. Mater., 29 (2017) 3070–3082. [doi]

  • 5. R. Dally, R. J. Clément, R. Chisnell, S. Taylor, M. M. Butala, V. V. T. Doan-Nguyen, J. W. Lynn, C. P. Grey, S. D. Wilson. Floating zone growth of α–Na0.9 MnO2 single crystals. J. Cryst. Growth, 459 (2016) 203–208. [doi]

  • 4. V. V. T. Doan-Nguyen, K. S. Subrahmanyam, M. M. Butala, J. C. Gerbec, S. M. Islam, K. N. Kanipe, C. E. Wilson, M. Balasubramanian, K. M. Wiaderek, O. J. Borkiewicz, K. W. Chapman, P. J. Chupas, M. Moskovits, B. S. Dunn, M. G. Kanatzidis, and R. Seshadri. Molybdenum polysulfide chalcogels as high-capacity, anion-redox-driven electrode materials for Li-ion batteries Chem. Mater., 28 (2016) 8357–8365. [doi]

  • 3. K. E. Mackie, A. C. Pebley, M. M. Butala, J. Zhang, G. D. Stucky, and M. J. Gordon. Microplasma spray method for direct, substrate-independent deposition of nanostructured metal oxides, Appl. Phys. Lett., 109 (2016) 033110. [doi]

  • 2. M. M. Butala, K. R. Danks, M. A. Lumley, S. Zhou, B. C. Melot, and R. Seshadri. MnO conversion in Li-ion batteries: In situ studies and the role of mesostructuring, ACS App. Mater. Interfaces, 8 (2016) 6496–6503. [doi]

  • 1. C. Lermer,* M. M. Butala,* B. R. Lettiere, and R. Seshadri, Mesoporous materials from template-free vapor-phase reductive leaching of Zn from Zn—M—O compounds (M = Nb, Mo, W), Cryst. Growth Des., 14 (2014) 4526–4530. [doi] (*equal contribution)


Ram Seshadri: website


Megan M. Butala, Ph.D. Candidate
Materials Research Laboratory
University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106-5121
email: mbutala@umail.ucsb.edu
web: http://www.mrl.ucsb.edu/~seshadri/MeganButala