Date 14 Oct 2022
Time 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm (HKT) Hybrid mode
Venue CYCP4 / Zoom
Speaker Prof. Xianwen MAO
Institution National University of Singapore


Seminar poster - Prof. Xianwen MAO

Understanding electrochemical interfaces: insights from soft materials design and operando functional imaging


Date: 14 October 2022 (Friday)
Time: Start from 3:30 – 5:00 pm (HKT)


Delivery: hybrid mode 
Venue: CYP P4
Zoom link: [Zoom ID: 917 1704 2964]


Prof. Xianwen MAO
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

National University of Singapore


About the Speaker: 

Xianwen Mao is an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering under Presidential Young Professorship at National University of Singapore. He obtained a Bachelor in Polymer Materials and Engineering from Tsinghua University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his PhD, Xianwen also worked as a research intern at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics in Italy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the US. His PhD work focused on molecular engineering of soft materials with tunable catalytic and adsorptive properties for sustainability technologies. His postdoctoral research at Cornell was centered around developing single-molecule/particle techniques for operando functional imaging of complex energy materials. Dr. Mao has filed 9 patents, and his research works and technological innovations have been frequently featured in news media such as New York Times and Chemical & Engineering News.


Electrochemical interfaces have continued to play critical roles in modern technologies that promise to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges associated with climate change, renewable energy and clean water. In this talk, I will describe my research efforts in developing a deeper understanding of electrochemical interfaces for sustainability with insights gained from soft materials design and operando functional imaging. In the first part of my talk, I will discuss how nanostructuring in molecularly engineered soft materials governs their electrochemical performance, with a particular focus on the critical role of self-assembled nanostructures at electrified interfaces. In the second part of my talk, I will describe my efforts in developing operando functional imaging tools to understand materials chemistry and properties at the single-entity level (e.g., single particles, single interfaces, single cells, single polymers). I will focus on (photo)electrochemical catalytic properties of emerging materials important for energy and environmental applications. I will discuss in detail single-entity-level insights inaccessible from bulk-level, ensemble-averaged measurements.