3月15日:Nature-inspired topological surfaces for water and energy nexus



    Prof. Zuankai Wang  

  Department of Mechanical Engineering  

  City University of Hong Kong  


  The progress of humankind has been marked by five main waves of innovation. Each wave has transformed our industries and societies, yet is also coupled with the consumption of resources, pollution, and energy/water shortage. In contrast, honed by billion years’ evolution, nature has developed extraordinary principles which are characterized with green energy and resilience.  


  This talk focuses on how the rational control of topological effect, which is normally overlooked in the conventional engineering domains, will fundamentally change the fluid and thermal transport and trigger new applications. In particular, I will discuss our recent progress in the exploration of nature-inspired topological structures for various implementations such as droplet based electricity generation, directional water transport and harvesting, soft robotics as well as reversible adhesion (1-5).   


  [1] Xu, W.; Zhou, X.; Hao, C.; Zheng, H.;  Yan, X.; Liu, Y.; Yang, Z.;  Leung, M.; Zeng, X.;  Xu, R.;  Wang, Z. SLIPS-TENG: Robust triboelectric nanogenerator with optical and charge transparency using slippery interface. National Science Review, 2019, In press.  

  [2]Li, J.; Li, J.; Sun, J.; Feng, S.; Wang, Z. Biological and engineered topological droplet rectifiers. Advanced Materials, 2019, doi:10.1002/adma.201806501 

  [3] Lu, H.; Zhang, M.; Yang,Y.;  Huang, Q.; Fukuda, T.;Wang, Z.; Shen, Y. A bio-inspired multi-legged millirobot that functions in both dry and wet conditions. Nature Communications, 2018, 9, 3944. 

  [4]Li, J.;Zhou, X.; Li, J.; Che, L.; Yao, J.; McHale, G.; Chaudhury, M.; Wang, Z. Topological liquid diode, Science Advances, 2017, 3, eaao3530. 

  [5] Zhao, Y.; Wu, Y.; Wang, L.; Zhang, N.; Chen, X.; Liu, M.; Fan, J.; Liu, J.; Zhou, F.;Wang, Z. Bio-inspired reversible underwater adhesive. Nature Communications, 2017, 8, 2218. 



Dr. Zuankai Wang is currently a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong, and one of the founding members of Young Academy of Science of Hong Kong. He earned his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Jilin University in 2000 and Master degree in Microelectronics from Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2003, and Ph. D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. After one year postdoc training in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, he joined in the City University of Hong Kong in September 2009 as an assistant professor.  His work has been included in the Guinness Book of World Records, and highlighted in Nature, Nature Physics and many other media coverages. Prof. Wang has received many awards including the 35th World Cultural Council Special Recognition Award (2018), President’s Lectureship at City University of Hong Kong (2018, the first Full Professor to deliver this lecture), Outstanding Research Award (the only winner at the ranks of associate/assistant professor, 2017) and President’s Award at the City University of Hong Kong (2017, 2016), Changjiang Chair Professor by Ministry of Education of China (2016), Outstanding Youth Award conferred by the International Society of Bionic Engineering (2016), OSA Young Scientist Award (2016). The Ph.D. students he supervised have won a number of prestigious awards including Young 1000 Talent Plan (2017, two PHD graduates), MRS Graduate Student Gold Award (2016 Fall Meeting), Hiwin Doctoral Dissertation Award (2016), Hong Kong Young Scientist Award (2015), and MRS Graduate Student Silver Award (2015 Spring Meeting).