Hall of Fame Highlight: Hua Zhang

by | Oct 29, 2018

Hua Zhang on careers influences, his thoughts on future hot science topics, and his personal motto.

Hua Zhang is a full professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Hua Zhang has been listed among the highly cited researchers in the fields of Materials Science and Chemistry in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and in the field of Materials Science in 2014, as calculated by Clarivate.

As a student at primary school, he credits his studies in Grade 5 for sparking his interest in science, and for setting him on the path to a scientific career. He also credits his former supervisors, Prof. Guoxiong Wang, Prof. Zhongfan Liu, Prof. Frans C. De Schryver, and Prof. Chad A. Mirkin for positively influencing his career and way of thinking, and states that the best advice that he has ever received was “to pioneer research directions”. And indeed, one of the biggest challenges in his career has been to be a pioneer and to conduct independent research.

Participating in research in a highly interdisciplinary way, Hua Zhang’s current research interests include 2D nanomaterials and carbon materials, and their applications in various fields, as well as characterization and application of novel metallic and semiconducting nanomaterials. He strives to effect positive change in society and hopes that one day his results will be converted to products that will benefit society.

He is also interested in lithography-based fabrication of surface structures and self-assembly and self-organization of nano- and biomaterials. Among all these topics, Hua Zhang’s favorite piece of research is “(crystal-)phase engineering of nanomaterials”.

Longing to witness the discovery of “novel materials with new phases for (crystal-)phase dependent promising applications”, Hua Zhang urges early-carrier researchers to “look for methods for preparation of novel materials with unusual crystal phases”. He believes that this topic will become one of the hot topics in science, in the near future.

The biggest motivation for Hua Zhang is to explore new research directions. When we asked him about the motto that he ascribes to himself, he responded “Work Hard, Work Smart”.

To gain an overview of the recent developments in Metal Nanomaterials with Novel Crystal Phases, check out the comprehensive review by Zhang and his team in the Advanced Materials Hall of Fame virtual issue.