Distinguished Lecture Series—Prof. Di Zhang

October 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
MB 128
Lassonde Mining Building
170 College St, Toronto, ON M5S 3E3

Bio-inspired Functional Materials Templated from Natural Species


Biological materials naturally display an astonishing variety of sophisticated nanostructures that are difficult to obtain even with the most technologically advanced synthetic methodologies. Inspired from nature materials with hierarchical structures, many structural and functional materials are developed based on the model or templating synthesis methods. We have focused on creating bioinspired structure materials and replicating the morphological characteristics and the functionality of biological species.

On the one hand, the structures and toughened mechanisms of nacreous layer were introduced to design the Al composites. Biomimetic laminated carbon nanotube (CNT)/Al composite were designed and fabricated, which leveraged both strength and toughness of the individual material. On the other hand, we altered original components of nature structure into our desired materials while keeping original morphologies. Properties of the resulting materials have been studied in detail. Based on these results, we will discuss the possibility of using these materials in photonic control, solar energy harvest, electromagnetic shielding, energy harvesting, and gas sensitive devices. Related research will be discussed by some speakers from our research group. These bioinspired structures and functional materials with improved performance characteristics are becoming increasingly important and will have great value on the development on structural functional materials in the near future.

About the Speaker

Professor Di Zhang
Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Director of State Key Lab of Metal Matrix Composites and the Institute of Composite Materials
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Di Zhang received his PhD from Osaka University, Japan. He has been a Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China since 1994, the director of State Key Lab of Metal Matrix Composites and the Institute of Composite Materials at SJTU since 2003, and the Professor of Chang Jiang Scholars Program since 2001. Prof. Zhang has published more than 200 peer reviewed academic articles, one English book on morphology-genetic materials, and has attended international conferences as an invited speaker 47 times.

His research interests include the process of advanced metal matrix composites and the basic and applied research on biomimetic morphology-genetic materials. His work on bioinspired functional materials has been widely reported by many scientific media (e.g., “Discovery Channel News”) in the world. The as-developed metal matrix composites have been supplied to China aerospace and defense systems and successfully deployed therein.

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