Huiyuan Zhu

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


B.Sc. in Chemistry University of Science and Technology of China, 2009

Ph.D. in Chemistry Brown University, 2014

The Zhu Group's research aims to develop new synthetic strategies for well-defined nanocrystals and 2-dimensional (2D) materials with atomically precise surfaces and interfaces that can lead to a fundamental understanding of how atomic structure affects catalyst performance and to use this new knowledge to design optimized catalysts for critical energy conversion and chemical transformation processes.Research will focus specifically on:
  • Electrochemical CO2 conversion
  • Sustainable nitrogen cycling
  • Heterogeneous thermocatalytic reactions (e.g., acetylene semi-hydrogenation).
Three questions fundamental to catalysis are to be addressed:
  1. What are the catalytic active sites and how do they evolve under reaction conditions?
  2. How to steer the reaction pathway toward desirable products via modulating active sites and their environments?
  3. How to circumvent or ultimately, go beyond adsorption-energy scaling relations? 


Selected Publications

1. Breaking adsorption-energy scaling limitations of electrocatalytic nitrate reduction on intermetallic CuPd nanocubes by machine-learned insights 

2. Heterostructured Bi–Cu 2 S nanocrystals for efficient CO 2 electroreduction to formate 

3. Powering the remediation of the nitrogen cycle: progress and perspectives of electrochemical nitrate reduction 

4. Harnessing strong metal–support interactions via a reverse route 

5. Recent advanced materials for electrochemical and photoelectrochemical synthesis of ammonia from dinitrogen: One step closer to a sustainable energy future