Chuan Zhao

Chuan Zhao

Chuan Zhao

Ph.D. (Northwest), 2002, FRSC, FRACI CChem

Professor, ARC Future Fellow, Nanoscience Program Coordinator

Contact details

Phone: +61 2 9385 4645


Room 127, Dalton Building
UNSW, Kensington, 2052

Research Group Website


Biographical Details

Graduate of Northwest University (Ph.D., 2002), Postdoctoral Fellow, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg (2002-2006), Research Fellow, Monash University (2006-2010), Professor, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, One Hundred Talents Program (2010), Australian Research Fellow, Australian Research Council (2010), Appointed Lecturer at UNSW (2010), Senior Lecturer (2011), Associate Professor (2014), Future Fellow, Australian Research Council (2017), Professor (2017).

Research Interests

My research interest focuses on developing nanoelectrochemistry technologies, and discovering novel nanomaterials, and their implications for clean energy and biomedicine applications. We are also interested in ionic liquids chemistry and their applicaitons for electrochemical energy conversion and storage and sustainable chemistry. We are exploring these new electrode and electrolyte materials for electrocatalysis and applications in water splitting for generation of hydrogen fuel, oxygen reduction for fuel cells and lithium-air batteries, and gas sensors.

Fundamental to these research programs is the investigation of kinetics of electron transfer processes occurring at microscopic electrolyte/material interfaces. Our approaches involve a number of electrochemical, microscopic and spectroscopic methods. We specialise in scanning micro- and nano-probe electrochemistry techniques such as scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) and AFM which provide the basis for such local characterisation. The scope of our research includes electrocatalysis at surface defects, evolution of photoelectrons at illuminated semiconductor/electrolyte interfaces, neural prosthesis for bionic ears and eyes. The applications of our study include water splitting, fuel cells, batteries, CO2 reduction reactions, and bionic implants.

Professional Interests

  • Chair of Royal Australian Chemical Institute Electrochemistry Division (EDRACI)
  • Fellow of Royal Australian Chemical Institute (FRACI)
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
  • Member of International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE)
  • Member of American Chemical Society

Selected Publications

  1. Jingjing Duan, Sheng Chen, Chuan Zhao, Ultrathin metal-organic framework array for efficient electrocatalytic water splitting, Nat. Commun., 2017, 8, 15341
  2. Xunyu Lu and Chuan Zhao, Electrodeposition of hierarchically structured three-dimensional nickel–iron electrodes for efficient oxygen evolution at high current densities, Nat. Commun., 2015, 6, 6616
  3. Xunyu Lu, Wai-Leung Yim, Bryan H.R. Suryanto, Chuan Zhao, Electrocatalytic oxygen evolution at surface-oxidized multiwall carbon nanotubes, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015137, 2901-2907
  4. Christian Gunawan, Mengchen Ge and Chuan Zhao, Robust and versatile ionic liquid microarray achieved by microcontact printing, Nat. Commun., 2014, 5, 3744
  5. Gianluca Bernardini, Anthony G. Wedd, Chuan Zhao and Alan M.Bond. Photochemical oxidation of water and reduction of polyoxometalate anions at interfaces of water with ionic liquids or diethylether, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., 2012, 109(29), 11552-11557
  6. C. Zhao, D. R. MacFarlane and A. M. Bond, Modified thermodynamics in ionic liquids for controlled electrocrystallization of nanocubes, nanowires and crystalline thin films of silver-tetracyanoquinodimethane. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 16195-16205.
  7. C. Zhao and A. M. Bond, Photoinduced oxidation of water to oxygen in ionic liquids BMIMBF4 as a counter reaction for fabrication of exceptionally long semiconducting polymeric AgTCNQ nanowires. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 4279-4287.
  8. G. Wittstock, M. Burchardt, S. E. Pust, Y. Shen and C. Zhao, Scanning electrochemical microscopy for direct imaging of reaction rates. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2007, 46, 1-35.
  9. C. Zhao, I. Witte and G. Wittstock, Switching on cell adhesion with microelectrodes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2006, 45, 5469-5471.
  10. C. Zhao and G. Wittstock, An SECM detection scheme with improved sensitivity and lateral resolution: detection of galactosidase activity with signal amplification by glucose dehydrogenase. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2004, 43, 4170-4172.