Nanyang Award for Research Excellence

Assoc Prof Zhang Hua (MSE)

Professor Zhang Hua has made huge impact in 3 research areas, namely, synthesis of novel nanomaterials, applications of graphene-based materials, and surface patterning from micro to nanometer scale.

The synthesis of size and shape-controlled nanomaterials is essential to the fundamental studies and applications of nanomaterials. Professor Zhang’s group is the first to report on the synthesis of novel hexagonal close packed gold nanostructure. This work is reckoned to be one of the most important fundamental advancements in materials science and chemistry.

Following that, his group has synthesized gold square-like plates through secondary growth of gold square sheets, 1.6 nm ultrathin gold nanowires and tadpole-shaped gold nanowires. For the first time, the group demonstrated the phase transformation from hcp to fcc associated with shape variation in gold nanostructures. A U.S. Provisional Patent application was filed based on the combination of these works and could lead to huge impact in applications in catalysis, optics, etc.

Professor Zhang’s group also successfully fabricated surface structures from microscale to sub-100 nanometers by using many lithographic methods. The patterned chemical and biomedical structures can be used for catalysis reaction, chemical and biosensing, optics, etc.

Professor Zhang received research grants totaling $33 million so far, as Principal Investigator and co-Principal Investigator. His research achievements in NTU have been published in top journals like Nature Communications, Nature Chemistry, Chemical Society Reviews, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Advanced Materials, Journal of American Chemical Society, ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials, Small, Chemical Science, etc.