Name:Jie Zeng (曾杰)
Born:Sep. 1980, Henan
Address:Rm 16-005, National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microsca

le,University of Science and Technology of China (USTC)

Anhui, Hefei 230026, P. R. China

Dr. Jie Zeng is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and PI of the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale (HFNL). He has been selected to the “Ten thousand talent program, leading scientist” by the Chinese government.

Dr. Jie Zeng was born in Shangcheng of Henan, China, in 1980. He studied applied chemistry at the USTC (B.S., 2002) and received a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics under the tutelage of Prof. J. G. Hou and Prof. Xiaoping Wang (2007). He worked with Prof. Younan Xia as a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis from 2008 to 2011 and was promoted to Research Assistant Professor in 2011. In 2012, he relocated to USTC to take the position of Professor for Chemistry in Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale. Up to now, 125 papers have been published in prestigious journals (Nature Nanotechnol., Nature Energy, Chem, Nature Commun., Chem. Rev., Nano Today, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Nano Lett., Adv. Mater., etc.), 3 invited books, and 33 patents.


Our research focuses on the selective transformation of small molecules such as CO, CO2, and CH4 into liquid fuels and value-added chemicals. It is of significant importance to achieve and illuminate the activation of stable chemical bonds between C, H, and O atoms over metal-based heterogeneous catalysts. Complexities and challenges stem from the inherent multi-component aspects of heterogeneous catalysis such as diversified active sites and vague mechanisms. To this end, we are devoted to tackling these issues from material and mechanistic points of views at the atomic level.
Atomic-level design of active sites
Atomic-level design of active sites not only contributes to optimizing the catalytic performance, but also offers an ideal platform for further mechanistic studies. The main goal in this perspective is to engineer the geometric and electronic properties of metal-based catalysts via precise atomic arrangement and specific elemental positioning. We have developed a systematic strategy to manipulate the sizes, facets, compositions, and defects of metal-based catalysts such as single metals, random alloys, intermetallics, and heterostructures. We have also deliberately designed the coordination environment and lattice strain to modify the orbit, spin, and their hybridization in strongly correlated systems. For constructing active sites from the basic unit, we have atomically dispersed metal atoms on different supports such as metals, oxides, carbides, sulfides, nitrides, and graphene to utilize their steric and electronic effect.
Atomic-level understanding of catalytic mechanisms
Our research pursues an advanced understanding of chemical catalysis at the atomic level. The main goal in this perspective is to elucidate the mass (e.g. elements and electrons) and energy (e.g. thermal energy, electric energy, luminous energy, and chemical energy) transfer during the reaction process. We are interested in illuminating the active sites/phases, reaction paths, surface reconstruction, adsorption of reactants and intermediates, desorption of products, spillover, plasmonics, and other phenomena occurring under reaction conditions. The atomic mechanisms of catalytic reactions are investigated via ex-situ and in-situ characterizations. These techniques include (solid-state) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller measurements, temperature-programmed desorption, and in-situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectrometry. Synchrotron-based spectroscopy techniques such as in-situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption fine structures are also utilized to monitor surfaces under reaction conditions.
Our ultimate goal is to achieve high selectivity for the desired products at maximum activity during the conversion of CO, CO2, and CH4 as well as industrialize our academic findings. We aim to establish a tightly-woven and supportive group wherein members are equipped with expansive visions and sufficient abilities to make a striking impact in the fields of selective transformation of small molecules.
1.The “Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of the CAS”.
2.The “National Natural Science Foundation of China”.
1.Synergetic interaction between neighbouring platinum monomers in CO2 hydrogenation.
H. Li, L. Wang, Y. Dai, Z. Pu, Z. Lao, Y. Chen, M. Wang, X. Zheng, J. Zhu, W. Zhang*, R. Si, C. Ma, J. Zeng*
Nature Nanotechnol. 2018, 13, 411-417.
2.Molecular-level insight into how hydroxyl groups boost catalytic activity in CO2 hydrogenation into methanol.
Y. Peng, L. Wang, Q. Luo, Y. Cao, Y. Dai, Z. Li, H. Li, X. Zheng, W. Yan, J. Yang*, J. Zeng*
Chem 2018, 4, 613-625.
3.Incorporating nitrogen atoms into cobalt nanosheets as a strategy to boost catalytic activity toward CO2 hydrogenation.
L. Wang, W. Zhang, X. Zheng, Y. Chen, W. Wu, J. Qiu, X. Zhao, X. Zhao, Y. Dai, J. Zeng*
Nature Energy 2017, 2, 869-876.
4.Atomic-level insights in optimizing reaction paths for hydroformylation reaction over Rh/CoO single-atom catalyst.
L. Wang, W. Zhang, S. Wang, Z. Gao, Z. Luo, X. Wang, R. Zeng, A. Li, H. Li, M. Wang, X. Zheng, J. Zhu, W. Zhang*, C. Ma*, R. Si, J. Zeng*
Nature Commun. 2016, 7, 14036.
5.Engineering electrocatalytic activity in nanosized perovskite cobaltite through surface spin-state transition.
S. Zhou*, X. Miao, X. Zhao, C. Ma, Y. Qiu, Z. Hu*, J. Zhao, L. Shi, J. Zeng*
Nature Commun. 2016, 7, 11510.
6.Facile synthesis of pentacle gold-copper alloy nanocrystals and their plasmonic and catalytic properties.
R. He, Y. C. Wang, X. Wang, Z. Wang, G. Liu, W. Zhou, L. Wen, Q. Li, X. Wang, X. Chen, J. Zeng*, J. G. Hou
Nature Commun. 2014, 5, 4327.
7.Hybrid nanomaterials: not just a pretty flower.
J. Zeng, Y. Xia*
Nature Nanotechnol. 2012, 7, 415.

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