Basic Information


Prof. Xu Zhao

Principal Investigator

Young Top-notch Talents in Xi’an Jiaotong University



Prof. Xu Zhao,

Room 508, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology,

Xi'an Jiaotong University,

No.28 Xianning West Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, 710049.



For Graduate Students:

We welcome applications from those who are self-motivated and interested in our research. We have one Ph.D. opening per year and two M.S. openings per year. Perspective students are strongly encouraged to contact Prof. Xu Zhao via Email:

We have another 1~2 Ph.D. openings per year for international students outside China. International students are encouraged to apply the CSC program with the support from Prof. Xu Zhao. Before that, please send the curriculum vitae, research proposal and 2 professional references to Prof. Xu Zhao via Email:

For Postdoc:

Currently we have 2-3 openings for postdoctoral applications. Please send the curriculum vitae, 2-3 representative publications and 2-3 professional references to Prof. Xu Zhao via Email:


Prof. Xu Zhao currently lead his research group as the Principal Investigator in the School of Chemical Engineering and Technology at Xi’an Jiaotong University. He has been selected to the ‘Top Young Talents Programme’ at Xi’an Jiaotong University. He was born in Biyang of Henan, China, in 1991. He received the Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) under the tutelage of Prof. Jie Zeng (2018). Then he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Wayne State University from 2018 to 2019. Before joining Xi’an Jiaotong University, he worked as an associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology from 2019 to 2022. Up to now, Prof. Xu Zhao has published 24 papers in prestigious journals, including J. Am. Chem. Soc.Angew. Chem. (2), Energy Environ. Sci. (2), Appl. Catal. B: Environ. (2), J. Catal., etc., and 5 patents in the field of electrocatalysis and hydrogen-energy conversion. He has been invited to give talks in 5 conferences, and serve as the Youth Editor to process energy/catalysis-relevant manuscripts for 4 journals, including The InnovationChinese Chemical LettersExploration, and Journal of Energy Chemistry.


Scientific Research

The H&Catal Lab led by Prof. Xu Zhao has been well-established in the School of Chemical Engineering and Technology at Xi’an Jiaotong University since 12/2022. Before that, our lab was located at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in Huazhong University of Science and Technology from 2019 to 2022. Our research focuses on the atomic-level design of metal-based nanomaterials with electrocatalytic mechanism investigation for sustainable hydrogen-energy conversion technologies, including water electrolysis for hydrogen generation, fuel cells for hydrogen utilization, as well as carbon/nitrogen-based molecules upgrading for high-value chemicals. Meanwhile, we also pay attention to the assembly of hydrogen-conversion devices to realize the industrial utilization of our techniques.


For details, please visit our group website:


Representative publications

1. X. Zhao, et al. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2022, 61, e202206588.

2. X. Zhao, et al. Energy & Environmental Science, 2022, 15, 1234.

3. X. Zhao*, et al. Energy & Environmental Science, 2021, 14, 2620.

4. X. Zhao, et al. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2017, 56, 328.

5. X. Zhao, et al. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, 137, 2804.


Peer-Reviewed Articles (in chronological order)

ORCID: 0000-0002-7548-3022

For citation details, please visit:


24. Interface engineering of heterostructural Ni‐Ni0. 2Mo0. 8N boosts alkaline hydrogen electrocatalysis. ChemSusChem, 2023, e202300218

L An, J Yang, J Zhu, C Yang, X. Zhao*, D Wang*


23. Optimizing dual-intermediates adsorption on Rh-based intermetallics for formic acid electrooxidation. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2023, 333, 122766.

T Shen, S Chen, S Wang, X Huang, M Song, X. Zhao, J Hu, D Wang*


22. Pseudo-Pt Monolayer for Robust Hydrogen Oxidation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2023, 145, 4088.

T. Zhao, M. Li, D. Xiao, X. Yang, Q. Li, L. An, Z. Deng, T. Shen, M. Gong, Y. Chen, G. Wang, X. Zhao, L. Xiao, X. Yang, L. Li, D. Wang*


21. Nitrogen-inserted nickel nanosheets with controlled orbital hybridization and strain fields for boosted hydrogen oxidation in alkaline electrolytes. Energy & Environmental Science 2022, 15, 1234.

X. Zhao, X. Y. Li, L. L. An, K. Iputera, J. Zhu, P. F. Gao, R. S. Liu,* Z. M. Peng,* J. L. Yang,* D. L. Wang*


20. Controlling the valence-electron arrangement of nickel active centers for efficient hydrogen oxidation electrocatalysis. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2022, 61, e202206588.

X. Zhao, X. Y. Li, L. L. An, L. R. Zheng,* J. L. Yang,* D. L. Wang*


19. Connection of Ru nanoparticles with rich defects enables enhanced electrochemical reduction of nitrogen. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2022, 24, 11491.

X. Tang, X. Tian, L. Zhou, F. Yang, R. He, X. Zhao*, W. K. Zhu*


18. Enhancing hydrogen electrocatalytic oxidation on Ni3N/MoO2 in-plane heterostructures in alkaline solution. Chinese Journal of Catalysis 2022, 43, 3154.

L. L. An, S. F. Deng, X. Y. Guo, X. P. Liu, T. Zhao, K. Chen, Y. Zhu, Y. Fu, X. Zhao*, D. L. Wang*


17. Engineering location and supports of atomically ordered L10-PdFe intermetallics for ultra-anticorrosion electrocatalysis. Advanced Functional Materials 2022, 32, 2203921.

T. Shen, M. Gong, D. Xiao, T. Shang, X. Zhao, J. Zhang, D. L. Wang*


16. Chitin Derived Carbon Anchored Ultrafine Ru Nanoparticles for Efficient Hydrogen Evolution Reaction. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2022, 10, 15530

E Ma, T Shen, D Ying, W Liu, X Zhao, L Zhang, D Wang*


15. Atomic-level insight into reasonable design of metal-based catalysts for hydrogen oxidation in alkaline electrolytes. Energy & Environmental Science 2021, 14, 2620.

L. L. An, X. Zhao*, T. Zhao, D. L. Wang*


14. Isolated Pd atom anchoring endows cobalt diselenides with regulated water-reduction kinetics for alkaline hydrogen evolution. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2021, 295, 120280.

X. Zhao, X. Y. Li, D. D. Xiao, M. X. Gong, L. L. An, P. F. Gao, J. L. Yang,* D. L. Wang*


13. Structure evolution of PtCu nanoframes from disordered to ordered for the oxygen reduction reaction. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2021, 282, 119617.

M. Gong, D. Xiao, Z. Deng, R. Zhang, W. Xia, T. Zhao, X. Liu, T. Shen, Y. Hu, Y. Lu, X. Zhao, H. Xin,* D. L. Wang*


12. Surface engineering of PdFe ordered intermetallics for efficient oxygen reduction electrocatalysis. Chemical Engineering Journal 2021, 408, 127297.

M. Gong, T. Shen, Z. Deng, H. Yang, Z. Li, J. Zhang, R. Zhang, Y. Hu, X. Zhao, H. Xin,* D. L. Wang*


11. Boosting alkaline hydrogen electrooxidation on an unconventional fcc-Ru polycrystal. Journal of Energy Chemistry 2021, 61, 15.

T. Zhao, D. Xiao, Y. Chen, X. Tang, M. Gong, S. Deng, X. Liu, J. Ma, X. Zhao, D. L. Wang*


10. Lowering interfacial dissolved gas concentration for highly efficient hydrazine oxidation at platinum by fluorosurfactant modulation. ChemElectroChem 2020, 7, 55.

X. Zhao, R. Ranaweera, J. C. Mixdorf, H. M. Nguyen*, L. Luo*


9. Highly efficient hydrogen evolution of platinum via tuning interfacial dissolved-gas concentration. Chemical Communications 2019, 55, 1378.

X. Zhao, R. Ranaweera, L. Luo*


8. Gas bubbles in electrochemical gas-evolving reactions. Langmuir 2019, 35, 5392.

X. Zhao, H. Ren, L. Luo*


7. Electrical and structural engineering of cobalt selenide nanosheets by Mn modulation for efficient oxygen evolution. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2018, 236, 569.

X. Zhao, X. Q. Li, Y. Yan, Y. L. Xing, S. C. Lu, L. Y. Zhao, S. M. Zhou, Z. M. Peng,* J. Zeng*


6. Phosphrous-modulated cobalt selenide enable engineered reconstruction of active layers for efficient oxygen evolution. Journal of Catalysis 2018, 368, 155.

X. Zhao, Y. L. Xing, L. Y. Zhao, S. C. Lu, F. Ahmad, J. Zeng*


5. Engineering the electrical conductivity of lamellar silver-doped cobalt(II) selenide nanobelts for enhanced oxygen evolution. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2017, 56, 328.

X. Zhao, H. T. Zhang, Y. Yan, J. H. Cao, X. Q. Li, S. M. Zhou, Z. M. Peng,* J. Zeng*


4. Gold atom-decorated CoSe2 nanobelts with engineered active sites for enhanced oxygen evolution. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2017, 5, 20202.

X. Zhao, P. F. Gao, Y. Yan, X. Q. Li, Y. L. Xing, H. L. Li, Z. M. Peng,* J. L. Yang, J. Zeng*


3. Engineering electrocatalytic activity in nanosized perovskite cobaltite through surface spin-state transition. Nature Communications 2016, 7, 11510.

S. M. Zhou,* X. B. Miao, X. Zhao, C. Ma, Y. H. Qiu, Z. P. Hu,* J. Y. Zhao, L. Shi, J. Zeng*


2. Octahedral Pd@Pt1.8Ni core-shell nanocrystals with ultrathin PtNi alloy shells as active catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015, 137, 2804.

X. Zhao, S. Chen, Z. C. Fang, J. Ding, W. Sang, Y. C. Wang, J. Zhao, Z. M. Peng,* J. Zeng*


1. One-step synthesis of hybrid nanocrystals with rational tuning of the morphology. Nano Letters 2014, 14, 6666.

W. Sang, T. T. Zheng, Y. C. Wang, X. Li, X. Zhao, J. Zeng,* J. G. Hou


2022  Young Top-notch Talents in Xi’an Jiaotong University

2018  Excellent Prize of the President Scholarship of Chinese Academy of Sciences

2018  Nomination Award for Excellent Doctoral Dissertation in USTC

2018  Excellent Graduated Student granted by Anhui Province

2018   Excellent Graduated Student in USTC

2017   National Scholarship Award for Excellent Doctoral Students granted by Ministry of Education

2017  First-Rate Academic Scholarship in USTC

2016  First-Rate Academic Scholarship in USTC

2016   Funding support from the Creative Scientific Research Foundation for Youths in USTC

2016   Excellent League Member in USTC

2015   National Scholarship Award for Excellent Graduate Students granted by Ministry of Education

2015  First-Rate Academic Scholarship in USTC


Employment record

12/2022 - now,         Xi’an Jiaotong University

                                 Principal Investigator, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology

12/2019 - 12/2022,  Huazhong University of Science and Technology

                                 Associate Professor, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

08/2018 - 10/2019,  Wayne State University

                                 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry

Education background

2013 - 2018,             University of Science and Technology of China (USTC)

                                 Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry

                                 Advisor: Prof. Jie Zeng

2009 - 2013,             Zhengzhou University

              B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering

                                 Advisor: Prof. Qun Xu