Honorary Professor Zhi-Gang Chen

Honorary Professor

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
zhigang.chen@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 54183

Overview

Prof. Dr Zhigang Chen is currently an Honorary Professor in the School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering, the University of Queensland. Dr Chen received his PhD from the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008 under the supervision of Professor Hui-Ming Cheng, and Professor Gaoqing (Max) Lu. His research focuses on thermoelectrics for power generation and cooling; next-generation optoelectronic devices and functional System; topological insulators for next-generation chips; and high-speed sensors. In total, Dr Chen received ~A$20,000,000 in research grants to support the research, including one prestigious UQ postdoctoral fellowship (2009), ARC APD Fellowship (2009), five ARC Discovery Grants (four as lead CI and one as ARC APD fellowship), one ARC Research hub, two ARC Linkage Grant (one as lead CI), two ARC LIEF Grant, >10 Industry Investments (eight as sole CI), two Queensland Smart Futures Funds (sole CI), and >10 University Grants. Currently, Dr Chen is leading two ARC discovery projects, one sub project at ARC Research Hub, one ARC Linkage project, and four industry investments. Dr Chen is one Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher (Top 0.1% researcher in the world). He has authored over 330 high-impact journal publications including 1 Nature Energy, 1 Nature Nanotechnology; 3 Nature Communications; 1 Chemical Reviews; 2 Progress in Materials Science; 4 Energy & Environmental Science; 1 Joule; 11 Advanced Materials; and 4 Journal of the American Chemical Society. These publications have attracted >19000 times (Scopus, www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=57188708630) and an H index of 70. His google scholar citation is >25,000 with an H index of 77 (https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=vkRX_vgAAAAJ&hl=en). Particularly, in the last three years, Dr Chen has published more than 35 articles per year and attracted over 4,000 citations per year. Dr Chen has delivered over 50 plenary/keynote/invited talks in the international/national conferences. Dr Chen has authored four commercialized patents, which have been attracted industry investments.

Research Interests

  • Design inexpensive, abundant, low-toxic and high-efficiency thermoelectric nanomaterials
    Thermoelectric materials directly convert thermal energy into electrical energy, offering a green and sustainable solution for the global energy dilemma. This proposal aims to develop inexpensive, abundant, and low-toxic thermoelectric nanomaterials for high-efficiency energy conversion using novel industry-level approach, coupled with nanostructure and band engineering strategies.
  • Topological Insulators
    High-Speed Hard Drive: Topological Insulators Open a Path to Room-Temperature Spintronics

Research Impacts

Thermoelectric materials for power generation and cooling

Identifying new approaches to develop energy-saving methods and tap into new renewable energy sources is set to be the greatest challenge of the 21st Century. Thermoelectric (TE) energy is one of the approaches that offers great promise as it can be used in multiple applications for power generation and refrigeration. It can create electricity from waste heat at any scale, it can significantly improve energy efficiency at a medium industrial scale, including significantly improving vehicular weight and emissions, and it can even generate electricity or cooling at the nanoscale. For instance, it could potentially be used to convert body heat into electricity in clothing or to charge a cell phone. The thermoelecric materials developed by Dr Chen have extremely high hopes for this technology.

Topological insulators for high speed chips

Imagine if the "information superhighway" had HOV lanes so that data could be stored, processed and disseminated many times faster than possible with today's electronics. New topological insulators developed by Dr Chen will be used for this new generation devices, such a speedway for future devices, an exotic type of electrical conductor.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Chinese Acad.Sc.

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Superfast information technology had HOV lanes so that data could be stored, processed and disseminated many times faster than possible with today's electronics. This project aims to develop new topological insulators using chemical vapor depostion and coupling unique nanostructure and band engineering strategies. The ultimate target is to be used for this new generation devices, such a speedway for future devices, an exotic type of electrical conductor.

  • The direct energy conversion between heat and electricity, based on thermoelectric effects without moving parts, has been considered as a green and sustainable solution to the global energy dilemma. This project aims to develop novel band-engineered metal selenides for high-efficiency energy conversion using novel microwave assisted wet chemistry approach, coupled with nanostructure and band engineering strategies. The key breakthrough is to design high performance metal selenide thermoelectrics for satisfying the high efficiency solid-state devices. The expected outcomes will lead to an innovative technology that waste heat recovery and refrigeration, which will place Australia at the forefront of practical energy technologies.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Chen, Zhi-Gang and Zou, Jin (2016). Layer-structured thermoelectric materials: fundamentals, strategies and progress. Two-dimensional nanostructures for energy-related applications. (pp. 23-47) edited by Kuan Yew Cheong. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9781315369877

  • Chen, Zhi-Gang, Zou, Jin and Cheng, Hui-Ming (2015). Fabrication, characterization, and application of boron nitride nanomaterials. Nanotubes and nanosheets: functionalization and applications of boron nitride and other nanomaterials. (pp. 91-111) edited by Ying (Ian) Chen. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b18073-6

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Superfast information technology had HOV lanes so that data could be stored, processed and disseminated many times faster than possible with today's electronics. This project aims to develop new topological insulators using chemical vapor depostion and coupling unique nanostructure and band engineering strategies. The ultimate target is to be used for this new generation devices, such a speedway for future devices, an exotic type of electrical conductor.

  • The direct energy conversion between heat and electricity, based on thermoelectric effects without moving parts, has been considered as a green and sustainable solution to the global energy dilemma. This project aims to develop novel band-engineered metal selenides for high-efficiency energy conversion using novel microwave assisted wet chemistry approach, coupled with nanostructure and band engineering strategies. The key breakthrough is to design high performance metal selenide thermoelectrics for satisfying the high efficiency solid-state devices. The expected outcomes will lead to an innovative technology that waste heat recovery and refrigeration, which will place Australia at the forefront of practical energy technologies.