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Zhao, Yanli

Associate Professor
Assistant Chair (Faculty)

Education: B.Sc. (Nankai University), Ph.D. (Nankai University), Post-doc: UCLA

Research Area: Functional Nanomaterials, Molecular Machines, Nanoelectronics, Organic Synthesis

Phone: (65) 6316 8792

E-mail: zhaoyanli@ntu.edu.sg

Webpage: http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/zhaoyanli/


Research Interest

The research programs in the Zhao group focus on organic and materials chemistry and branch out into the related fields of biological, physical, and medicinal chemistry. We utilize interdisciplinary approaches to investigate the emerging problems at the forefront of chemistry, aiming to address some of the technological needs in today’s society. The applications in cancer therapy, energy, and sensor technology are keenly investigated at more advanced stages.

Some ongoing research projects in the group are described as follows:

1. Biocompatible systems for diagnostics and therapeutics. The broad objective of the project is to fabricate the biocompatible systems for controlled drug delivery in vivo, leading to produce a novel platform for the next generation of therapeutics with both spatial and temporal control. The drug delivery candidates include polymers, mesoporous nanoparticles, supramolecular materials, and so on. The operations of these nanosystems have been investigated in biological systems, in order to transport therapeutic anticancer drugs into various types of human cancer cells under a controlled manner.

2. Novel porous materials for energy storage and catalysis. This project aims to fabricate novel porous materials (e.g. silica nanoparticles, metal-organic frameworks, and covalent-organic frameworks) for applications of gas storage and catalysis. We employ supramolecular concepts in the construction of extended structures in order to develop the most highly designed and intelligent materials from chemistry. By embarking on this project, we utilize and combine the leading edge ideas in nanoscience, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and solid-state materials.

3. Nanoelectronics based on functionalized graphene and carbon nanotubes. Graphene and carbon nanotubes are promising materials for nanoelectronic applications. The interesting structural, chemical, electrical, and optical properties of graphene and carbon nanotubes, when used in electronic settings, may bring new opportunities to device applications for biological detection, imaging, and therapeutic treatment of diseases with high performance and efficacy. In the project, functionalization of graphene or carbon nanotubes by polymers, quantum dots, or other materials is one of the essential tasks. Then, we engage in the fabrication and application of the functionalized graphene- and carbon nanotube-based sensing devices.


Selected Representative Publications

  1. S. Sreejith, X. Ma, Y. L. Zhao,* Graphene oxide wrapping on squaraine-loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles for bioimaging. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, in press.

  2. Q. Zhang, F. Liu, K. T. Nguyen, X. Ma, X. Wang, B. Xing, Y. L. Zhao,* Multifunctional mesoporous silica nanoparticles for cancer-targeted and controlled drug delivery. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2012, in press.

  3. H. Yan, C. Teh, S. Sreejith, L. Zhu, A. Kwok, W. Fang, X. Ma, K. T. Nguyen, V. Korzh, Y. L. Zhao,* Functional mesoporous silica nanoparticles for photothermal-controlled drug delivery in vivo. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 8373–8377.

  4. P. Borah, X. Ma, K. T. Nguyen, Y. L. Zhao,* A vanadyl complex grafted to periodic mesoporous organosilica: A green catalyst for selective hydroxylation of benzene to phenol. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 7756–7761.

  5. L. Zhu, C. Y. Ang, X. Li, K. T. Nguyen, S. Y. Tan, H. Ågren, Y. L. Zhao,* Luminescent color conversion on cyanostilbene functionalized quantum dots via in-situ photo-Tuning. Adv. Mater. 2012, 24, 4020–4024.