(Forum) Young Scholar’s Forum hosted by SCUT-HKUST Joint Research institute

Time: Jan. 11th, 2019 (Friday), 8:30

Venue: Rm 402, State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and Devices, North Science Park, Wushan Campus

Speech 1: Supramolecular Polymeric Materials: the Marriage of Covalent Polymers and Non-Covalent Interactions

Speaker: Dr Ji Xiaofan (HKUST)


Supramolecular polymeric materials, which have emerged as the marriage of polymer science, supramolecular chemistry and materials science, have gained considerable interest in recent years as excellent materials not only due to their properties similar to traditional polymers which are built by covalent bonds, but also because of the reversibility and stimuli-responsiveness of noncovalent bonds. Supramolecular polymeric materials can response to abundant external stimuli, such as pH change, photo irradition, anions, cations, temperature, and solvent.  As a result, the reversibility and responsiveness to external stimuli may further provide a range of potential applications, including those as superabsorbers, as matrices in analytical chemistry or biology, and as storage and delivery systems for active substances in the biomedical field. Furthermore, supramolecular polymer materials can be prepared under different conditions, namely in solution, in gel, and in the solid state. Various kinds of noncovalent interactions can be introduced into polymer materials, such as hydrogen bonding, aromatic stacking interactions, metal coordination, and host-guest interactions. In this talk, we will state the utilization of noncovalent interactions to control the self-assembly of traditional polymers in order to fabricate supramolecular polymeric materials.

Speech 2: Engineering Polymer/Inorganic Hybrid Nanoparticles for Cancer Theranostics

Speaker: Dr Liu Yijing (National Institutes of Health, US)


Nanomaterials show great potential to fight cancers because of their capabilities of diagnosing and treating cancer simultaneously, improving the efficiency of drug delivery, and diminishing side effects. Polymer/inorganic hybrid nanoparticles, which combine the advantages of both polymer and inorganic components, are expected to improve the treatment outcomes. Yet, it remains a great challenge to achieve precise cancer therapy with nanomaterials that requires optimization of their properties as well as understanding of their interactions with biological systems. In this talk, I would like to report my recent progress to address this challenge from two different aspects. In the first part, I will present a self-assembly strategy to construct polymer/inorganic hybrid nanoparticles with enhanced collective properties. In the second part, I will introduce how we can use our knowledge of nano-bio interactions to design nanomaterials for enhanced cancer therapy.

Speech 3: Emerging Solar Cell Technology: Challenges and Opportunities

Speaker: Dr Zhang Quanbao (Stanford University)


Solar cells, directly converting the solar energy into electricity, have been well recognized as one of the most promising renewable energy technologies to provide clean and abundant energy resources. So far there are different types of solar technologies in the solar market, and in this talk I will briefly describe the development of the solar technology and the main challenges we face to manufacture and apply them in large scale. I will also introduce all the new methods, functional materials and interfacial charge engineering strategy I have developed in aiming to improve the efficiency, stability and scalability of different solar cell technologies. I will conclude with a personal perspective on directions for the future development of solar technologies, which may involve the design of new functional materials, device architecture and advanced interface engineering.


Dr. Jinbao Zhang is Wallenberg Postdoc Fellow of Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. He obtained his PhD degree in Physical Chemistry from Uppsala University in Sweden. He specializes in the energy conversion and storage techniques, including lithium ion batteries, capacitors, solar cells, fuel cells. His research interests include novel material design, charge dynamics and device engineering for different types of solar technologies. In 2016 he was awarded “Swedish Wallenberg Fellow”. He has published over 40 papers, including Advanced Materials, Energy Environmental Science, Chem, ACS Nano, ACS Energy Letters, et al., with citations over 1100 and h-index 20.

Speech 4: Perovskite solar cells: from the molecule level to crystal structure and device performance

Speaker: Dr Wang Qiong (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin)


Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) as a young photovoltaic technology have experienced fast development in the power conversion efficiency, with a world record efficiency of over 23%, highly competitive with that of silicon solar cells and thin-film photovoltaics (PVs). However, the operational lifetime of PSCs lags far behind compared to the well-established PVs. Therefore, enhancing the lifespan of PSCs has been one of the focuses of the perovskite PV community. In this talk, I will show our recent work on all inorganic PSCs composed of inorganic perovskite compound and inorganic electron and hole selective contact, exhibiting an extraordinary photo-thermal stability, and holding a robust lifetime, T80-the time it takes for the a solar cell to degrade to 80% of its initial efficiency-during the accelerated ageing test. Our work shows that inorganic PSCs will be the future of this new PV technology that clears the device instability hurdle standing on the way of commercialisation of PSCs.


Dr. Qiong Wang is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Young Investigator Group lead by Dr. Antonio Abate at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Her research interests include developing stable perovskite solar cells, understanding the working mechanisms of perovskite solar cells and exploring new perovskite compounds. Before joining Dr. Antonio Abate’s group, she worked as a research fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Michigan State University in 2016‒2017 after she obtained the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland.

Speech 5: Enabling Tools for Disease Diagnosis, Imaging and Intervention

Speaker: Dr Li Junwei (MIT, US)


The ability to create and use tools differentiates humans from all the other living beings. As a result,tools have been playing an important role in human history. Millions of years ago, our ancestors created the very first piece of tools with stone. Since then, many other tools have been created to change our life. In the field of biomedicine, The creation and use of molecular tools, such as molecular probes, nanoscale agents, and drugs, have significantlybenefited the modern society. Specifically, these tools have been applied for both the scientific discoveries and clinical advancements.

Announced by SCUT-HKUST Joint Research institute

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