Zhongwei Chen


Contact InformationZhongwei Chen

Phone: 519-888-4567 x38664
Location: E6 2006


Biography Summary

Zhongwei Chen is a Chemical Engineering Associate Professor, the Director of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Nanotechnology, and the head of the Applied Nanomaterials and Clean Energy Lab at the University of Waterloo. He is also a member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and a Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy.

Professor Chen’s research group aims to provide sustainable energy infrastructures and resources for future generations by developing novel high performance nanostructured materials for use in clean sustainable technologies. Professor Chen holds 4 patents in technologies relating to sustainable energy infrastructures.

The development of rechargeable zinc-air batteries is an exciting area of his research. Zinc-air batteries are partially comprised of oxygen, which does not need to be stored. This theoretically simplifies the design and increases the energy density of the cell, which creates the potential to attain the highest specific energy of any known battery technology.

The prototype batteries developed by Professor Chen’s team have demonstrated excellent activity and stability in over 1000 recharging cycles (i.e. device discharge and charge). In recognition of the commercial potential for this novel catalyst system, Professor Chen was awarded the NSERC Idea to Innovation (I2I) Phase-I funding, which will be used to address commercially related issues such as synthesis scale-up, optimization and quality assurance of the technology for zinc-air battery application. In May 2013, the zinc-air battery was showcased for the second consecutive time at the prestigious TechConnect World Summit held in Washington, DC.

In addition to his research work, Professor Chen is part of the editorial board of “Scientific report” and a guest editor for “Applied Energy’s special issue”. Additionally, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation presented Professor Chen with the “Early Researcher Award” in 2012.

Research Interests

  • Fuel Cell
  • Catalyst
  • Proton Exchange Membrane
  • Core Shell
  • Nanoparticles
  • Carbon Nanotubes
  • Metal Nanotubes
  • Zeolite
  • Nanocomposite Membranes
  • Water Purification
  • Nanostructured Fuel Cell Catalysts
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Water


  • 2008, Doctorate, Chemical Engineering, University of California, Riverside
  • 2002, Master's, Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology
  • 1996, Bachelor's, Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Technology


  • NE 499 - Special Topics in Nanostructured Materials
    • Taught in 2015
  • CHE 750 - Special Topics in Electrochemical Engineering, Interfacial Engineering & Materials Science
    • Taught in 2018
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Kashkooli, Ali Ghorbani and Amirfazli, Amir and Farhad, Siamak and Lee, Dong Un and Felicelli, Sergio and Park, Hey Woong and Feng, Kun and De Andrade, Vincent and Chen, Zhongwei, Representative volume element model of lithium-ion battery electrodes based on X-ray nano-tomography, Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 47(3), 2017, 281 - 293
  • Han, Lei and Yu, Tongwen and Lei, Wen and Liu, Wenwen and Feng, Kun and Ding, Yuanli and Jiang, Gaopeng and Xu, Pan and Chen, Zhongwei, Nitrogen-doped carbon nanocones encapsulating with nickel--cobalt mixed phosphides for enhanced hydrogen evolution reaction, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 5(32), 2017, 16568 - 16572
  • Luo, Dan and Deng, Ya-Ping and Wang, Xiaolei and Li, Gaoran and Wu, Juan and Fu, Jing and Lei, Wen and Liang, Ruilin and Liu, Yangshuai and Ding, Yuanli and others, Tuning Shell Numbers of Transition Metal Oxide Hollow Microspheres toward Durable and Superior Lithium Storage, ACS nano, 11(11), 2017, 11521 - 11530
  • Li, Ge and Luo, Dan and Wang, Xiaolei and Seo, Min Ho and Hemmati, Sahar and Yu, Aiping and Chen, Zhongwei, Enhanced Reversible Sodium-Ion Intercalation by Synergistic Coupling of Few-Layered MoS2 and S-Doped Graphene, Advanced Functional Materials, 27(40), 2017
  • Kashkooli, Ali Ghorbani and Foreman, Evan and Farhad, Siamak and Lee, Dong Un and Ahn, Wook and Feng, Kun and De Andrade, Vincent and Chen, Zhongwei, Synchrotron X-ray nano computed tomography based simulation of stress evolution in LiMn2O4 electrodes, Electrochimica Acta, 247, 2017, 1103 - 1116

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