Dr. Zihao Zhang


Postdoctoral fellow

Paul Scherrer Institut
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI


Zihao Zhang completed his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Zhejiang University in September 2019. From January 2018 to July 2019, he was a visiting Ph.D. student at the University of Tennessee. From October 2019 to October 2021, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University. Since November 2021, he has been working as a postdoctoral fellow funded by the National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) catalysis at the Paul Scherrer Institute. His current research interests are the development of novel catalytic materials for the conversion of fossil and biomass feedstocks to fuels and chemicals.

Scientific Research

As a postdoc fellow from NCCR catalysis, Zihao's projects are focusing on the catalytic reaction mechanism consisting of the hydrodeoxygenation of lignin-derived compounds and propane oxidative dehydrogenation. The main experiments are performed on the VUV beamline at PSI and the laboratory of Prof. Javier Pérez-Ramírez's group at ETH Zurich.

Selected publications

For an extensive overview, please check Google Scholar

(1) Z. Zhang, J. Tian, Y. Lu, S. Yang, D. Jiang, W. Huang, Y. Li, J. Hong, A. Hoffman, S. Bare, M. H. Engelhard, A. K. Datye, Y. Wang*. Memory-dictated Dynamics of Single-atom Pt on CeO2 for CO Oxidation. Nat. Commun. 2023, 14, 2664.

(2) Z. Pan, A. Puente-Urbina, S.R. Batool, A. Bodi, X. Wu, Z. Zhang, J.A. van Bokhoven*, P. Hemberger*. Tuning the zeolite acidity enables selectivity control by suppressing ketene formation in lignin catalytic pyrolysis. Nat. Commun. 2023, 14, 4512.

(3) B. Jin, Y. Chen, J. Tao, K.J. Lachowski, M.E. Bowden, Z. Zhang, L.D. Pozzo, N.M. Washton, K.T. Mueller, J.J. De Yoreo*. Multi-step nucleation of a crystalline silicate framework via a structurally precise prenucleation cluster. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, e202303770.

(4) Z. Zhang, J. Tian, X. Wu, I. Surin, J. Pérez-Ramírez*, P. Hemberger*, A. Bodi*. Unraveling Radical and Oxygenate Routes in the Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Propane over Boron Nitride. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 7910. (Supplementary Cover)

(5) Z. Zhang, J. Pérez-Ramírez, J. A. van Bokhoven, A. Bodi*, P. Hemberger*. Operando Photoelectron Photoion Coincidence Spectroscopy to Detect Short-lived Intermediates in Catalysis. Chimia 2023, 77, 132-138. (Invited review)

(6) X. Wu, Z. Zhang, Z. Pan, X. Zhou, A. Bodi, P. Hemberger*. Ketenes in the Induction of the Methanol-to-Olefins Process. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, e202207777.

(7) W. Lin, H. Chen, G. Lin†, S. Yao, Z. Zhang, J. Qi, M. Jing, W. Song, J. Li, X. Liu, J. Fu*, S. Dai. Creating Frustrated Lewis Pairs in Defective Boron Carbon Nitride for Electrocatalytic Nitrogen Reduction to Ammonia. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202207807.

(8) Z. Zhang, J. Tian, Y. Lu, X. Gou, J. Li, W. Hu, W. Lin, R. S. Kim, J. Fu*. Exceptional Selectivity to Olefins in the Deoxygenation of Fatty Acids over an Intermetallic Platinum-Zinc Alloy. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, e202202017.

(9) Z. Zhang, J. A. Schott, M. Liu, H. Chen, X. Lu, B. G. Sumpter, J. Fu*, S. Dai*. Prediction of Carbon Dioxide Adsorption of Porous Carbon via Deep Learning. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 259.

(10) Z. Zhang, S. Yao, X. Hu, F. Okejiri, K. He, Pingying Liu, Ziqi Tian, V.P. Dravid, J. Fu*, X. Zhu*, S. Dai*. Sacrificial Synthesis of Supported Ru Single Atoms and Clusters on N-doped Carbon Derived from Covalent Triazine Frameworks: A Charge Modulation Approach. Adv. Sci. 2021, 8, 2001493.

(11) Z. Zhang, M. Jing, H. Chen, F. Okejiri, J. Liu, Y. Leng, H. Liu, W. Song, Z. Hou, X. Lu, J. Fu*, J. Liu*. Hydrogenation of Fatty Acids on Cu/ZrO2: Demystifying the Role of Carrier Structure and Metal-support Interface. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 9098.

(12) Y. Yan, Z. Zhang, S.-M. Bak, S. Yao, X. Hu, Z. Shadike, C.-L. Do-Thanh, F. Zhang, H. Chen, X. Lyu, K. Chen, Y. Zhu, X. Lu, P. Ouyang, J. Fu*, S. Dai*. Confinement of Ultrasmall Cobalt Oxide Clusters within Silicalite-1 Crystals for Efficient Conversion of Fructose into Methyl Lactate. ACS Catal. 2019, 9, 1923 (Supplementary Cover).

(13) H. Xu, Z. Zhang, J. Liu, C. Do-Thanh, H. Chen, S. Xu, Q. Lin, Y. Jiao, J. Wang, Y. Wang*, Y. Chen*, S. Dai*. Intrinsically Stable Single-Atom Pd Catalysts via High-Entropy Fluorite Oxide Supports. Nat. Commun. 2020, 11, 3908

(14) Z. Zhang, S. Yang, X. Hu, H. Xu, H. Peng, M. Liu, B. Thapaliya, K. Jie, J. Zhao, J. Liu, H. Chen, Y. Leng, X. Lu, J. Fu*, P. Zhang*, S. Dai*. Mechanochemical Nonhydrolytic Sol–Gel-Strategy for the Production of Mesoporous Multimetallic Oxides. Chem. Mater. 2019, 31, 5529.

(15) Z. Zhang, Q. Yang, H. Chen, K. Chen, X. Lu, P. Ouyang, J. Fu*, J. G. Chen*. In-situ Hydrogenation and Decarboxylation of Oleic Acid into Heptadecane over a Cu-Ni Alloy Catalyst using Methanol as Hydrogen Carrier. Green Chem. 2018, 20, 197.

(16) Z. Zhang, S. Yao, C. Wang, M. Liu, F. Zhang, X. Hu, H. Chen, X. Gou, K. Chen, Y. Zhu, X. Lu, P. Ouyang, J. Fu*. CuZnCoOx Multifunctional Catalyst for In Situ Hydrogenation of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural with Ethanol as Hydrogen Carrier. J. Catal. 2019, 373, 314.

(17) Z. Zhang, W. Lin, Y. Li, F. Okejiri, M. Liu, Y. Lu, J. Liu, H. Chen, X. Lu, P. Ouyang, J. Fu*. Heterogeneous Non-noble Catalyst for Highly Selective Production of Linear α-Olefins from Fatty Acids: A Discovery of NiFe/C. ChemSusChem 2020, 13, 4922.

(18) Y. Lu, Z. Zhang, H. Wang*, Y. Wang*. Toward efficient single-atom catalysts for renewable fuels and chemicals production from biomass and CO2. Appl. Catal. B-Environ. 2021, 292, 120162. (Review)

(19) H. Chen, Z. Yang*, Z. Zhang, Z. Chen, M. Chi, S. Wang, J. Fu*, S. Dai*. A strategy for construction of a nanoporous highly crystalline hexagonal boron nitride from an amorphous precursor. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 10626.

(20) Z. Zhang, Y. Li, F. Okejiri, M. Liu, H. Chen, J. Liu, K. Chen, X. Lu, P. Ouyang, J. Fu*. Highly Selective Production of Linear 1-Heptadecene from Stearic Acid over a Partially Reduced MoOx Catalyst. Chem. Comm. 2020, 56, 4456