BSc, MEng, PhD
My primary research interests have been focusing on the nanoscience - fundamentally understanding the formation mechanism of nanomaterials and their nanostructure-property/functional links through characterising nanomaterials using advanced electron microscopy.
Current Research Projects
- Semiconductor nanowires growth by MOCVD (by collaborating with Jagadish's group at Australian National University)
Semiconductor nanowires have believed to be the building blocks for the next generation of electronic and optoelectronic devices. For these semiconductor nanowires to be practically useful, it is critically essential to understand their formation mechanism(s). In this collaborating project, by building the growth of GaAs based III-V semiconductor nanowires and their structural and chemical characteristics, we determine the formation mechanism(s) of these nanowires. Based on the new knowledge gained, we shall develop nanowire heterostructures for the applications of nanoelectronics and optoelectronics.
- Low dimensional wide bandgap semiconductor nanostructures (by collaborating with Max Lu at UQ and Huiming Cheng at Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
In this multifaceted program, a range of low dimensional wide bandgap semiconductor nanostructures were synthesized using different CVD techniques, including ZnO, SiC, BN and other II-VI semiconductors. Form these studies, several new physical phenomena related to the nanoscale have been observed. The aim of this program is to develop nanostructure-based devices for applications in energy conversion and sensing.
- Magnetic semiconductor nanostructures (by collaborating with Kang L. Wang's group at UCLA and Wei Lu' group from Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Due to the existence of the bandgap of semiconductor materials, electrons can be controlled either in the conduction or valence bands (for the electronic properties). By tailoring the width of bandgaps, optoelectronic properties of semiconductors can be manipulated. These are the bases of semiconductor applications in modern nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. Since electrons possess a characteristic of spin, if such a characteristic can be properly developed and controlled, the potential applications of semiconductors will be extended into a new dimension. In this multifaceted project, nanostructures and nanochemistry of a range of magnetic semiconductors and their associated nanostructures (fabricated by our collaborators) are detailed investigated using advanced transmission electron microscopy with an aim of understanding the magnetic nature of these novel semiconductors.
- Development of porous intermetallics for the functional applications (by collaborating with Bo-Yun Huang/Y. H. He’s group at Central South University, China)
Intermetallic materials were originally developed to replace steels as a third generation of engineering materials. However, due to their intrinsic poor mechanical properties, the applications of intermetallic materials have been greatly limited as structural/engineering materials. However, the uniqueness of intermetallic is that these materials contain a mixture of metallic and covalent bonds, which provide combined properties of metals and ceramics with outstanding corrosion resistance and excellent oxidation resistance. The uniqueness of intermetallics places this class of materials to be ideal materials for some functional/smart materials. On the other hand, porous materials are a new class of materials for many applications, such as in the fields of filtrations and medical materials. In this project, we develop a range of porous intermetallics aiming for their advanced applications.
- Understand the nature of electrolytes for solid oxide fuel cell applications (by collaborating with John Drennan at UQ and Toshi Mori’s group at NIMS, Japan)
As shortage of global energy sources (such as crude oil) and rapid growth of in some economic regions (such as China), there is an urgent need to develop alternative energy sources. Among potential energy sources, solid oxide fuel cells have been recognized as a key candidate as they provide a medium for producing hydrogen energy. One of the current challenges in developing high efficient solid oxide fuel cells is to reduce their operating temperature from about 800 °C to below 500°C. As the properties of the solid electrolytes play a key role in the energy converting process, it is essential to understand their fundamental conducting mechanism(s). In this project, we closely relate the conduction properties with nanostructural/nanochemical variations for ceria electrolytes doped with a range of rear-earth or alkaline earth elements with an aim to understand the fundaments of conductivities of doped ceria electrolytes.
- Electron tomography of ordered porous materials (by collaborating with Michael Yu’s group at Fudan University, China)
Novel porous materials have attracted extensive attention as a result of their scientific importance and potential applications in many technological fields. With recent progressive developments, helical mesoporous materials with both traditional crystallographic symmetry elements and unconventional helical symmetry have become a globally focused topic because of their potential applications in chiral synthesis, chiral separation and chiral catalysis. In this collaborative project, we aim to develop a new class of functional mesoporous and macroporous materials with ordered but complex structures. We will determine the complex porous structures by using the electron tomography technique