MSE recruitment flyer

Congratulation to Dr Loh Xian Jun who was awarded the 2014 Elsevier and Materials Science and Engineering C Young Researcher Award. The award recognizes research excellence in experimental and theoretical topics at the interface of the biological sciences and materials engineering by individuals who are thirty-five years old or younger. Dr Loh Xian Jun was honoured for his exceptional research efforts involving the development of novel materials for biological applications.

Congratulation to Ms. Angeline Lim for her promotion from Grade 4 of Executive & Professional to Grade 3 (Associate Director), effective Jan 1, 2014

Congratulation to Mr. Henche Kuan for his promotion from LT4 to LT3, effective Jan 1, 2014

Congratulation to Dr. Xue Junmin for his promotion to Associate professorship with tenure, effective Jan 1, 2014

Nafis Ahmed

NUS 8th MSESIG Committee has recently concluded the “Chill and Career Talk 2013” on 4th Dec 2013. This event has created an avenue for interaction between alumni and undergraduates. The committee would like to express their sincere appreciation to the alumni for taking time off their busy schedule and all MSE undergraduates for sharing their evening. Click here for more

Congratulation to Prof. Ding Jun on his receiving the FACULTY RESEARCH AWARD 2013 in recognition of Prof Ding’s research excellent and his contribution to magnetic materials and their applications!

Congratulations to A/Prof Daniel Chua, whose article: "Comparison of the mechanism of low defect few-layer graphene fabricated on different metals by pulsed laser deposition" published in May 2012 has been selected as the TOP 25 HOTTEST ARTICLES in the journal, Diamond and related Materials, for the year of 2012. Link to article here. Link to the index of Top 25 Hottest Articles in Diamond and related materials here.

Congratulations to team “ESP”, comprising mainly of Year 3 and Year 4 students from the Department of Material Science and Engineering at NUS, for winning the Singapore Space Challenge 2013. Their design of an innovative and economic space plane that can launch from and return to Singapore won the top prize in the heavily contested Aviation and Aerospace category of the competition. More

MSE is Currently Recruiting Full-Time Tenure Track Faculty (Details see in: Career – Faculty positions)

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Simultaneous control of the microstructure, crystallographic structure and magnetic properties of L10 FePt films is the main blocks for the application for heating assisted magnetic recording media. Although L10 FePt (001) films with high magnetic anisotropy and small isolated grains have been synthesized in the past few years using MgO underlayer, large opening-up of in-plane hysteresis loop (large noise) and low grain aspect ratio (low signal) made it unsuitable for ultra-high density magnetic recording (beyond 1 Tbits/in2). Assoc. Prof. Jing-Sheng CHEN’s group has invented a new media structure which utilises TiON or TiN-oxide composite (001) textured underlayers. L10 FePt (001) films with high magnetic anisotropy, small grain size and small opening-up of in-plane hysteresis loop, as shown in the figure below, were synthesized with these conductive intermediate layers that have a larger surface energy and smaller interfacial energy. The conductive intermediate layers can be fabricated by industry preferred direct-current sputtering. This work is done by Assoc. Prof. Jing-Sheng CHEN’s research group and has published in Applied Physics Express, 6, 075502 (2013). The research is financially supported by Seagate. Recently, Seagate has filled three NUS-owned patents based on this work (US 61/706314; 61/706317; 61/733202) read more

Carbon segregation using metal substrates has been given increasing attention as an alternative graphene growth method due to its reduced temperature. However, not every metal behaves in the same manner during the process, hence it is imperative to study their effectiveness when using this growth method. In this paper, few-layer graphene was fabricated on metal substrates with an energetic carbon source supplied by pulsed laser deposition. The ability of Ni, Cu, Co and Fe thin films to form graphene through segregation was investigated. Graphene was fabricated on Ni and absent in Cu, Co and Fe under a specific cooling profile. This was attributed to either low solubility of carbon in Cu and Fe or low carbon diffusion coefficient in Co. However, by adjusting the cooling rate to cater to the carbon diffusion coefficient of Co, low defect few-layer graphene with large substrate coverage was obtained. The results showed that when using PLD, a metal with sufficient carbon solubility is desired over its catalytic ability. The reasons behind the observed phenomena are also discussed read more

Dual-Layer Protections of Quantum Dots for Stable and Targeted Bioimaging Dr Zhang Yu, from John Wang’s research group, together with collaborators in MSE (Happy Tan, Benedict You-wei Hsu, and Zhengchun Yang), IMRE (Li Xu, Yuan-gang Zheng and Siew Yee Wong), Johns Hopkins Singapore (Miao Wang and Alex Yuang-chi Chang), NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (Mahesh Choolani), have developed PEOlated Micelle/Silica Dual-Layer Protections of Quantum Dots for Stable and Targeted Bioimaging. The work has been published in Chemistry of Materials, 25 (15) 2013, pp 2976–2985 DOI: 10.1021/cm4005618. Further details: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cm4005618 read more

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) are regarded as the next-generation solar cell technology due to their decent power conversion efficiency and low fabrication cost. Though Pt is traditionally used as the counter electrode of DSCs, it is too expensive and degrades in the electrolyte. Recently, a team of Huiqin Zheng, Chin Yong Neo and Jianyong Ouyang at NUS observed that the iodide/triiodide DSCs with graphene/single-walled carbon nanotube composites as the counter electrode outperform those with Pt, graphene or carbon nanotubes in terms of photovoltaic efficiency and stability. The open circuit voltage (Voc) is 0.86 V for fresh DSCs, significantly higher than that (0.77 V) of control DSCs with Pt. Voc further increases to 0.90 V after one week. This is the first time to observed highly efficient iodide/triiodide DSCs with such a high Voc value. The results were recently published on ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (2013, 5, 6657–6664). The research work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Singapore read more

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a wide band-gap material known for its diverse range of applications due to its high optical transparency, electrical conductance and light emitting and magnetic properties. One big challenge is to synthesis ZnO using a cheap method without using chemical solutions or generating waste that creating environmental problems. In this paper, the controllable formation of zinc oxide by a cheap and environmental friendly fabrication method of simply subjecting metallic zinc films in sodium chloride solution at 170 oC from 3 to 15 hours under hydrothermal conditions is demonstrated. ZnO (see Fig. 1) films and nanostructures with different morphologies are obtained: from a film with network of circular pores to a film with nanowire-like network with bigger pores. This paper shows that sodium chloride solution is responsible for both the oxidation of zinc films and change in surface morphology. This indicates that reduced amount of sodium chloride is suffice. Lastly, the growth mechanism behind zinc conversion to zinc oxide is investigated with the aid of experimental method. [Journal of American Chemical Society 96 (2013) 1972]read more

In a recent paper published by Dr Wang Qing’s group, Bulk heterojunction quantum dot (QD) solar cells have shown great promise in harvesting solar energy with power convention efficiency going beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit. However, one challenge is the incorporation of QDs into a mesoporous substrate, with which a cell can be fabricated. In this work, the authors demonstrate a novel structure of bulk heterojunction based on mesoporous TiO2 substrate, PbS quantum dots and ZnS dielectric medium. The galena PbS QD arrays embedded in an amorphous ZnS matrix are adopted to fill up the mesoporous TiO2 electrode with an in situ approach. The inorganic ZnS resembles the capping materials normally used in colloidal QDs to control the size of PbS. The novel structure and synthesis approach open up a new way of fabricating efficient QD solar cells. read more

In a recent paper published by Prof Ding Jun’s group, ferromagnetism has been achieved in nonmagnetic Teflon after cutting and stretching. The theoretical model of cluster magnetism has been proposed due to the presence of network of C-dangling bonds. The model was confirmed with first principles calculations and agreed well with experimental observations. Nature Communications 3 (2012) 727.. read more

In a recent paper published by Dr. Wang Qing’s group on JACS, it has been found that switching dye from Z907 to Y123 increases recombination resistance and changes its voltage-dependence, without affecting capacitance. It has been proposed that the apparent change in recombination mechanism is due to the difference in tunnel barrier heights for surface-state and conduction band mediated recombination combined with a different barrier width for each dye. Journal of the American Chemical Society , Volume: 135 Issue: 10 Pages: 3939-3952 read more

In a paper published by S. Adams & R. Prasada Rao “Structural requirements for fast lithium ion migration in Li10GeP2S12”, JMC, they reveal the peculiar mechanism causing the record-high Li+ ionic conductivity of this solid electrolyte material for use in all-solid state lithium batteries, has been highlighted as a “Hot Article” by the journal editors. Journal of Materials Chemistry 22(16), 7687-7691 read more

Ferroelectrics-like behavior has been observed in non-centre symmetric wurtzite ZnO. We have successfully built the model to explain the phenomenon. Reversal ferroelectric domain can be formed along grain boundaries due to the presence of oxygen vacancies, and such reversal domain can be propagated easily with a low energy barrier. This work has proposed a new way to explore novel nano-devices for information storage. Scientific Reports 2 (2012) 587. read more

In a paper published by Prof John Wang’s group (Liu Huajun) in collaboration with Dr P. Yang (SSLS), Dr K. Yao (IMRE), Dr P.K. Ong and Prof P. Wu (IHPC), the origin of tetragonal BiFeO3 phase with giant c/a ratio has been identified. This opens a new pathway for developing the desperately wanted super-tetragonal BiFeO3 phase on substrates with small in-plane lattice parameters, single crystal substrates and even polycrystalline substrates, as long as the Bi2O3 phase is properly controlled as a buffer layer. Advanced Functional Materials, 22[5] (2012) 937-942. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201101970 read more



Competitive Research Program by NRF


Congratulations to A/P Stefan Adams

Stefan Adams


and A/P Chen Jingsheng

A/P Chen Jingsheng



and Dr. Wang Qing

Dr. Wang Qing

Our Staff



Dr. Wang Qun is an assistant professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.>>more


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