1. 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenide (TMD)

Ultrathin two-dimensional nanosheets of layered TMDs are versatile semiconductors. In our lab, Mono- or few-layered TMDs are synthesized through exfoliation of bulk materials and CVD method. The phase transition of TMDs between 2H and 1T is an important topic, and the generated nanosheets will have different performance in energy transform, storage and other energy related fields. In addition, the TMDs can be modified by kinds of metals or semiconductors for functional composites. They can be then used as sensors, HER or ORR electrocatalysts, and photocatalyts with excellent properties.


Figure 1. Illustration of the preparation of trilayer 2H MoS2 by reaction with substoichiometric n-butyllithium followed by exfoliation in ethanol/water.


Fig.2. Reaction Scheme for the Preparation of Exfoliated 2H MoS2

2. Carbon Materials

Our research includes the synthesis, characterization, and application of novel carbon materials. One such carbon material is graphene and its derivatives. We aimed to modify the graphene using chemical or physical method, and used them for catalytic applications. Due to the high electrical and thermal conductivity, they holds great promise for electrical energy storage such as in ultracapacitors and in various device applications such as sensors.


Fig. 3. Stable graphene suspensions are prepared using a new, green, and intriguing synthetic route. Graphene can be directly prepared by the fast deoxygenation of exfoliated graphite oxide in strong alkaline solutions at low temperatures (50–90 °C), in the absence of reducing agents.


Fig. 4. Illustration of the different roles of graphene in heterogeneous catalysis, i.e., its use as a catalyst support and its intrinsic catalytic properties originating from the defects and heteroatom-containing functionalities.

3. Other Nanomaterials

We are also interested in the shape controlled synthesis of nanomaterials using hydrothermal, seed-Mediated and template method. They showed shape and facet related catalytic activities in kinds of chemical and photochemical reactions. Other newly appeared materials, such as graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4), black phosphorous, polymers and MOF are also popular in our lab. All of these materials can be used as chemical catalysts, photocatalysts or sensors in the energy and environmental fields.


Fig.5. TEM images of the graphene–Au nanorod hybrid (a), graphene–Au nanoparticles hybrid (b), graphene–Ag nanoparticles hybrid (c), graphene–Fe3O4 nanoparticles hybrid (d) and the designed hybrid of graphene with Au nanorod, nanocube and nanosphere particles (e, f).

4. Industrial Chemistry

In this field, we aimed to develop new technologies for kinds of industrial intermediates. Lots of outcomes from our lab has been applied in the industrial production, such as 4,4′-dinitrostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic Acid, dimethyl 1,4-cylohexanedione-2,5-dicarboxylate, and so on. New sustainable waste treatment technologies for these products are also our study target.


Fig. 6. Treatment of DNS Wastewater I, conventional process; II, new route proposed by our lab.


Fig. 7. DNS wastewater (a) before and (b) after redox treatment.