Explore the Nano World 

 Wen's Research Group​

Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

Principal Investigator

Phone: (973) 596-5520 
Fax: (973) 596-5790
Email: wen.zhang@njit.edu

Office Location: Colton Hall 211

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     Qingquan made an oral presentation on “Shape-controlled dissolution of silver nanoparticles, a case study by SECM/AFM”, funded byNational Science Foundation (Award Number: 1756444) via Biological & Environmental Interfaces of Nano Materials and U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (Assistance Agreement No. 839451010). In his research, Qingquan employed atomic force microscopy (AFM) and AFM coupled with scanning electrochemical microscopy (AFM-SECM) to scrutinize the topographical and electrochemical properties of different shaped silver NPs during their dissolution. This research aims to develop novel characterization approaches to study shape-dependent dissolution of NPs and holds promise in green and sustainable engineering applications in diverse fields. (e.g., nanomedicine, nanocatalysis, nanoelectronics, and molecular imaging).

    On Nov 20th, 2019, two master students (Fangzhou Liu and Leqi Lin) and two PhD students (Qingquan Ma and Xiaonan Shi) attended the 2019 Eastern Analytical Symposium & Exposition and presented their posters.

      Leqi Lin presented a poster on “Leaching of valuable metals from lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) using organic aqua regia” with funding support from EPA Pollution Prevention (P2) grant (Grant No. NP96259118) and NJIT Undergraduate Research Innovation (URI) phase I and II grants (2018 fall). In her research, she designed Li and Co recovery condition from LIBs with organic aqua regia with more efficient procedure. By removing the high heat and organic solvent pretreatment, the recovery process can be more promise in green and economic consideration. With the help of ultrasonication and organic acid, the leaching efficiency can get over 85%, the project also puts characterization for the cathode powder before/after leaching, further proving the leaching mechanism with UV-vis, XRD and SEM.

      Fangzhou’s topic is “Detection of PFAS in Surface Raw Water using Agilent LC-QQQ at NJIT ” under funding support from EPA and Suez. In his research, solid-phase extraction (SPE) was utilized to purify and concentrate seven the most environmentally relevant PFAS (PFBS, PFHxA, PFHpA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS and PFNA) from surface raw water from Haworth in New Jersey. This poster further demonstrated the steps and crucial factors in sample preparation, cartridge SPE preparation, sample extraction, sample elution and extract concentration. With SPE, PFOS and PFOA could be extracted efficiently (87% and 88%, respectively), and extracted efficiency of PFBS, PFNA, PFHxS PFHpA, and PFHxA are 72%, 54%, 40%, 14% and 10%, respectively. Additionally, TOC analyzer was used to correlate the measured TOC with the theoretical TOC based on different PFOA concentrations.

    Xiaonan Shi presented “Characterization of Colloidal, Mechanical and Electrochemical Properties of Nanobubbles in Water” with funding support from NSF (Award Number: 1912367), United State Department of Agriculture (USDA): Agriculture Systems and Technology: Nanotechnology for Agricultural and Food Systems (Agreement number: 2019-67021-29450 and EPA. P3 phase I (Grant number 83945101). In her research, she sought to establish the conditions for various measurements of NBs, such as dynamic light scattering (DLS) technique to determine the colloidal sizes and zeta potentials of NBs, AFM nano-mechanics measurements to determine the elastic modulus and internal pressure and scanning electrochemical microscopy coupling with AFM (AFM-SECM) measurements to investigate the electrochemical (EC) activity of NBs. Her project puts new insights in nanoscale characterization for NBs and NBs technology holds promise in green and sustainable engineering applications in diverse fields (e.g., water/wastewater treatment, food processing, medical applications, and agriculture).