Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Publishes in Angewandte Chemie as First Author


Research Management Center congratulates undergraduate student Zhang Wenhao and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ong Wee Jun, both from XMUM Chemical Engineering Programme, School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, on their success in publishing the review entitled “Z-Scheme Photocatalytic Systems for Carbon Dioxide Reduction: Where Are We Now?”, as the first author and the corresponding author respectively, in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

With an impact factor of 12.257, Angewandte Chemie International Edition is a peer reviewed Q1 journal, ranking in the top 10% of chemistry and multidisciplinary category.

The work, in collaboration with Prof. Abdul Rahman Mohamed from Universiti Sains Malaysia, was a contribution invited by the Deputy Editor of the journal. It was ranked “Very Important – Top 5%” by both of the journal’s referees and was featured in the news articles at a variety of official WeChat channels, including “催化计”, “X-MOL咨询”, “材料人” and “研之成理”.

According to the researchers, transforming CO2 into fuels by utilizing sunlight is promising to synchronously overcome global warming and energy-supply issues. It is crucial to design efficient photocatalysts endowing intriguing features of robust light-harvesting ability, strong redox potential, high charge-separation and excellent durability. Hitherto, a single-component photocatalyst is incapable to simultaneously meet all these criteria. Inspired by natural photosynthesis, constructing artificial Z-scheme photocatalysts provides a facile tactic to conquer these bottlenecks.

The review introduces the fundamentals of photocatalytic CO2 reduction and Z-scheme systems, as well as the state-of-the-art Z-scheme photocatalytic CO2 reduction; whilst special attention is put on the predominant factors (e.g. surface states, morphology, CO2 adsorption) that affect photoactivity. It has also reviewed other further modifications (e.g. doping, loading cocatalysts and facet engineering), which can unlock the promise of photocatalysis. Challenges and opportunities to open a new epoch in engineering high-efficiency Z-scheme photocatalytic CO2 reduction systems were also presented.

Zhang Wenhao, who is currently in his third year of study, recalled the process of writing the paper:

“The entire process from writing to publication requires great endurance, not only in the regard of intellect but also of self-discipline, perseverance, patience, and an attitude of excellence. I am very grateful that Dr. Ong was always there to guide me. I learned a lot, especially during the editorial submission, whereby Dr. Ong has vast experience in view of his role as Editors and Board Members of reputable journals. Apart from learning how to do research in a specific field, my English proficiency and critical thinking skills have also been tremendously improved. Anyway, I really appreciate the experience and the selfless help from Dr. Ong.”

Dr. Ong offered his advice to XMUM students:

“Research is like a real rollercoaster ride. There are full of opportunities and challenges ahead of you. However, I believe that through constant patience and perseverance, it will be a very fruitful experience to uncover your potential and capability, which in turn will help to shape your characters. Research is fun; take it as an opportunity to explore! My final piece of advice is that learning to overcome obstacles would be the key to being successful and the secret of all triumphs in research. You will feel a sense of true satisfaction at the end.”

This the second time that XMUM undergraduate student has published research paper on SCI journal as the first author. Previously, Ren Yijie, also from XMUM Department of Chemical Engineering, published a paper entitled “Interfacial engineering of graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4)-based metal sulfide heterojunction photocatalysts for energy conversion: A review” in Chinese Journal of Catalysis as the first author in March 2019, which has been recognized as one of the “Highly Cited Papers” from the Web of Science.

Dr. Ong Wee Jun now works as an Associate Professor at XMUM School of Energy and Chemical Engineering. He has won several prestigious awards since joining XMUM in 2018, including the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment, Young Researcher Award from Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Green Talent Award presented by the German government. He was also named as a “Highly Cited Researcher 2019” by Clarivate Analytics (the Web of Science Group). Currently, he serves as the Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Nanotechnology, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Chemistry, Community Board Member of Materials Horizons, Early Career Advisory Board Member of Langmuir, and Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports and Nanotechnology.

For more information about Dr. Ong Wee Jun’s research group, please refer to:


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