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Professor Zhigang Chen

Professor Zhigang Chen
Name Zhigang Chen
Position Professor (Energy Materials)
Section Strategic Research Projects
Office B410
Location Springfield Campus
Phone +61 7 3470 4103
Extension 4103
Qualifications GCertHigherEd Qld , PhD ChineseAcadSci
Languages Mandarin (accredited translator)
The views expressed on staff homepages may not reflect the views of the University.

Fields of Research (FoR)

  • Compound Semiconductors ( 091203 )
  • Functional Materials ( 091205 )
  • Nanotechnology ( 100700 )

Research interests
Dr Zhigang Chen is currently a Professor in Energy Materials, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Before he moved to USQ at 2016, Dr Chen has worked at the University of Queensland (UQ) as ARC APD Fellow, QLD Smart Future Fellow, and Senior Research Fellow for seven years. 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. As a lead Chief Investigator or Chief Investigator, Dr Chen has succeeded in winning 4 ARC Discovery grants (three are first lead CI and other one is APD Fellow), 1 ARC Linkage, 1 ARC LIEF grant, several Industry Investment, 2 Queensland smart future funds, 1 international linkage grant from the Australian Academy of Sciences, 1 UQ foundation excellence Award, and several univeristy grants. Dr Chen has contributed more than 200 original journal publications (including top ranking journals, such as 1 in Nature Nanotechnology, 1 in Progress in Materials Science, 3 in Nature Communications, 7 in Advanced Materials, 3 in Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2 in Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, 1 in Energy & Environmental Science, 3 in Nano Letters, 13 in ACS Nano, 8 in Advanced Functional Materials, 7 in Advanced Energy Materials, and 5 in Nano Energy), 4 patents, and over 30 keynote/invited presentations. His publications have been cited more than Scopus 10100 times (; ISI web, with H index of 51.

His research project (attracting PhD students) is focusing:

1. Design cost-effective and high-efficiency thermoelectric materials and devices

Thermoelectric materials directly convert thermal energy into electrical energy, offering a green and sustainable solution for the global energy dilemma. This project aims to develop inexpensive, abundant, and low-toxic metal selenide nanomaterials for high-efficiency energy conversion using novel industry-level approach, coupled with nanostructure and band engineering strategies. The key breakthrough is to design high performance thermoelectric nanomaterials with engineered chemistry and unique morphology for new generation thermoelectrics. The expected outcomes of this project will lead to an innovative technology for harvesting electricity from waste heat or sun light, which will place Australia at the forefront of energy technologies.

2. Development of Topological Insulators for high speed chips

Topological Insulators (TIs) are a class of quantum materials that exhibit topological surface states. These materials are usually small band gap semiconductors where the bulk of the material is insulating, but they exhibit special surface states that are conducting and topologically protected. The materials are usually made of heavy atoms that give rise to strong spin-orbit coupling and this leads to the formation of surface states that are not destroyed by scattering or impurities. TIs are proving to be ideal materials for study in condensed matter physics, as the physics of these materials is novel and they offer huge scope for developing new theories and for the discovery of new materials.

In this proposal, we describe the methodology to be adopted to obtain high quality materials, for the different experiments proposed. We propose to synthesize a range of materials, some of which are already known to be Topological Insulators and other new materials such as Dirac semimetals and Wyles semimetals.

Professional memberships
Associate Editor of American Journal of Nanotechnology
Editorial Board of Journal of Materials Science & Technology; Progress in Natural Science; Electronics
Member of International Thermoelectric Society;
Member of American Chemistry Society;
Member of Australian Microscopy Society
Member of Australian Nanotechnology Network
Member of Australian Materials Research Society

USQ Research affiliations

  • Centre for Future Materials (CFM)

Currently teaching courses/programs
the University of Queensland
• CHEE 4301: Nanomaterials and their characterization
• CHEE 4302: Electrochemistry and corrosion
• MATE7013: Advanced Manufacturing

Teaching experience(Tertiary)
5 Years

Research most recent
Z.-G. Chen,* X. L. Shi, L.-D. Zhao, and J. Zou*, (Corresponding author)
High-performance SnSe thermoelectric materials: progress and future challenge
Progress in Materials Science 10.1016/j.pmatsci.2018.04.005 (2016 IF=31.140)
W.-D. Liu, Z.-G. Chen* and J. Zou* (Corresponding author)
Eco-Friendly and Low-Cost Higher Manganese Silicide Thermoelectric Materials: Progress and Future Challenge
Advanced Energy Materials 2018, 8, 1800056 (2016 IF=16.721)
M. Hong, Z.-G. Chen*, L. Yang, Y. Zou, M. Dargusch, H. Wang, and J. Zou* (Corresponding author)
Realising zT of 2.3 in p-type Ge1-x-ySbxInyTe by reducing the phase-transition temperature and introducing resonant energy doping
Advanced Materials 2018, 30, 1705942. (2016 IF=19.791)

Research most notable
1. *M. Hong, Z.-G. Chen*, L. Yang, and J. Zou* (Corresponding author)
BixSb2-xTe3 nanoplates with enhanced thermoelectric performance due to sufficiently decoupled electronic transport properties and strong wide-frequency phonon scatterings
Nano Energy 2016, 20, 144–155.

2. *Z.-G. Chen*, C. Zhang, E. Zhang, Y.C. Zou, L. Yang, H. Min, F. Xiu*, and J. Zou* (Corresponding author)
Scalable Growth of High Mobility Dirac Semimetal Cd3As2 Microbelts
Nano Letters, 2015, 15 (9), pp 5830–5834.

3. *L. Yang, Z.-G. Chen*, G. Han, H. Min, Y.C. Zou and J. Zou* (Corresponding author)
High-Performance Thermoelectric Cu2Se Nanoplates through Nanostructure Engineering
Nano Energy 2015, 16, 367–374

4. *G. Han, Z.-G. Chen*, J. Drennan and J. Zou*
Indium Selenides: Structural Characteristics, Synthesis and Their Thermoelectric Performances
(Corresponding author)
Small, 2014, 10, 2747–2765.

5. *Z.-G. Chen,* G. Han, L. Yang, L. Cheng, and J. Zou*
Nanostructured thermoelectric materials: current research and future challenge
(Corresponding author)
Progress in Natural Science: Materials International, 2012, 26, 535-549

6. *L. Cheng, Z.-G. Chen,* S. Ma, Z. Zhang, Y. Wang, H. Xu, L. Yang, G. Han, K. Jack, G. Lu and J. Zou*
High Curie Temperature Bi1.85Mn0.15Te3 Nanoplates
(Corresponding author)
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012, 134, 18920-18923.

7. *F. X. Xu, L. He, Y. Wang, L. Cheng, L. Chang, M. Lang, G. Huang, X. Kou, Y. Zhou, X. Jiang,
Z.-G. Chen, J. Zou, A. Shaolos, K. L. Wang
Manipulating Surface States in Topological Insulator Nanoribbons
Nature Nanotechnology, 2011, 6, 216-220

8. *Z.-G. Chen, L. Cheng, H. Xu, J. Liu, J. Zou,* T. Sekiguchi, G. (Max) Lu* and H. Cheng*
ZnS Branched Architectures as Optoelectronics and Field Emitters
Advanced Materials 2010, 22, 2376.

9. *Z.-G. Chen, J. Zou, G. Liu, X. Yao, F. Li, X. Yuan, T. Sekiguchi, G. Lu* and H. Cheng*
Growth, Cathodoluminescence and Field Emission of ZnS Tetrapod Tree-Like Heterostructures
Advanced Functional Materials 2008, 18, 3063.

10. *Z.-G. Chen, J. Zou, G. Liu, Y. Wang, X. Yuan, F. Li, L. Wang, T. Sekiguchi, G. Lu* and H. Cheng*
Novel Boron Nitride Hollow Nanoribbons
ACS Nano 2008, 2, 2183.

Publications in ePrints

Deng, Yi and Zhang, Kewei and Yang, Yuanyi and Shi, Xiuyuan and Yang, Lei and Yang, Weizhong and Wang, Yuan and Chen, Zhi-Gang (2019) Ce/Mn dual-doped LaAlO3 ceramics with enhanced far-infrared emission capability synthesized via a facile microwave sintering method. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 774. pp. 434-442. ISSN 0925-8388

Zhang, Jinxuan and Ge, Lei and Chen, Zhi-Gang and Boom, Eric and Zhu, Zhonghua (2019) Cracking behavior and mechanism of gibbsite crystallites during calcination. Crystal Research and Technology, 54 (1 - Article 1800201). ISSN 0232-1300

Hu, Hai-Long and Pham, Anh and Chen, Zhigang and Duty, Timothy and Wang, Danyang and Li, Sean (2019) Enhanced mobility in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 heterostructures with layer-modulated patterning. Ceramics International, 45 (5). pp. 5496-5502. ISSN 0272-8842

Wang, Yuan and Yang, Lei and Shi, Xiao-Lei and Shi, Xun and Chen, Li-Dong and Dargusch, Matthew S. and Zou, Jin and Chen, Zhi-Gang (2019) Flexible thermoelectric materials and generators: challenges and innovations. Advanced Materials, 31 (29 - Article 1807916). pp. 1-47. ISSN 0935-9648

Shi, Xiaolei and Wu, Angyin and Feng, Tianli and Zheng, Kun and Liu, Weidi and Sun, Qiang and Hong, Min and Pantelides, Sokrates T. and Chen, Zhi-Gang and Zou, Jin (2019) High thermoelectric performance in p-type polycrystalline Cd-doped SnSe achieved by a combination of cation vacancies and localized lattice engineering. Advanced Energy Materials, 9 (11 - Article 180352). pp. 1-15. ISSN 1614-6832

View full listing in ePrints

Approved research supervisor in the area of:

  • Compound Semiconductors ( 091203 )
  • Functional Materials ( 091205 )

Research topics