Dr. Zhang is a pioneer and world leader for her outstanding research achievements and creativity in micro/nanotechnology, especially in high efficiency energy harvesting and self-powering devices & systems. Her research has impacted the field of MEMS field in a number of aspects, such as developing mass production technology of micro-nano structures with high surface charging density based on MEMS fabrication to enhance the performance of triboelectric nanogenerator, applying piezoelectric, magnetic and triboelectric principles for hybrid nanogenerator, and high efficiency energy management circuit to achieve long-term power supply for microsystems, her contributions of active sensing and smart skin also inspect the academic field worldwide.
Dr. Zhang has productive scientific output and won numbers of Awards/Honors. She authored and co-authored 250+ peer reviewed scientific articles on the prestigious journals such as, Energy & Environmental Science, Nano Energy, Nano Letters，ACS Nano，Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, et al. She edited and co-edited 8 books and book chapters, and held 42 patents including 3 US patents. She has delivered 100+ plenaries, keynotes, invited and seminar talks at international and national academic conferences as well as universities and research institutions. She is very active in academic service, was the founder and general Chair of IEEE NEMS conference, NTC Beijing Chapter Chair. She serves on editorial board of IEEE Tnano, JMEMS, Microsystem and Nanoengineering, et al.
Dr. Zhang is an excellent teacher. She has supervised over 5 postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists, 18 PhD students, 25 MS students and 15 international visiting researchers & students. Among those she has supervised, 10 of them are faculty in universities and research institutions. Her students have received 50+ awards/honors from Peking University and professional societies for best Thesis, best paper/poster presentations and other academic achievements.
Dr. Zhang is the founder and general chair of the International Contest of innovation (iCAN) since 2007, iCAN is the biggest collaborative platform among academia & industry & young generation to stimulate the innovations. Now, every year 50K+ young students from 20 countries and regions participant in iCAN, projects cover the smart hardwares and software, etc.
Dr. Zhang has initiated “iCAN-PKU” Innovation MOOC in PKU and promote it into national level at 2016, 500+ universities and 200K+ students benefited. She has delivered 500+ “Innovation” serial lectures in high/middle school, universities and public in last few years, her talk merged high-tech, legend, magic, happiness and humorous, guiding the audience into an exciting innovative world, which made her talk very popular and enjoyable in mainland china.
Dr. Zhang has initiated “iCANX” global online science talks at April 2020. In past year, every Friday iCANX Talks host 120+ Top scientists worldwide, and 15million audiences had watched the online show from different part of the world. iCANX Talks becomes the phenomena in the international academical community during COVID19.
Dr. Zhang won National Invention Award of Science & Technology at 2006, Education Award at 2013 and 2017 in Beijing City, Geneva Invention Gold Medal at 2014. She was honored as the Excellence Teachers in Beijing City at 2017, Top10 supervisors in Peking University at 2017. She won the Medal of May Day in 2018. She won the 2nd prize of National Education Award 2018 and elected as the member of Innovation Education Committee in Chinese Ministry of Education at 2018. She was listed in Forbes Top 50 Female Scientists at China in 2020.
Dr. Zhang has received funding from NSFC, MOST, MOE, Samsung, Huawei, International projects, etc. The total funding for supporting her research from 2001 to today is 45M RMB.
Zhang invented the high performance Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs). Developing novel energy harvesting technologies is the key for long term stability of MEMS/NEMS and IoT systems. It is highly desired for. Zhang developed the first Sandwich-typed TENG with micro-nano dual structure surface (Nano Letters, 2013, 13, 1168-1172), which has high output voltage 465V, current 107.5μA, power density achieved 53.4mW/cm3, and she introduced controllable surface treatment technologies to enlarge the friction surface and enhance surface charge density (Nano Energy, 2014, 4, 123-131; Nano Energy, 2015, 11, 304-322). She is the first investigator of surface energy by using first-principle calculations (Langmiur, 2013, 29, 10769-10775). Zhang invented the first transparent and flexible single-friction-surface triboelectric generator (STEG) (EES, 2013, 11, 3235-3240), which achieved the open-circuit voltage 130 V with a short-circuit current density of about 1mAcm-2. She developed the first electrode-free TENG for harvesting biomechanical energy from motions, the electricity can be obtained from any part of human body, The output voltage 810 V is achieved and charge over 550 nC is transferred in one step of an adult's walking (Nano Energy, 2015, 12, 19-25). Zhang demonstrated the large scale fabrication and performance enhancement strategies of TENGs based on MEMS and IC fabrication technologies (Nano Energy, 2013, 11, 1101-1106), such as DRIE and FPCB, which opened the market of TENGs in many applications.
Zhang pioneered the field of hybrid energy harvesting technology. In order to harvest the environment energy in High efficiency, Zhang first invented the hybrid nanogenerator which made the simple r-shaped structure can harvest the energy both by triboelectric/piezo principle (ACS Nano, 2013, 10, 8554-8560), enhance the output of PENG and TENG can achieved 10.95mW/cm3与2.04mW/cm3 respectively. Later on, she invented the wavy-shaped structure which can drive 3 hybrid nanogenerators, it can charge a 1uF capacitor to 25V in 1mins (Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 1263-1270). In addition, Zhang developed the Magnetic-Triboelectric hybrid generator to harvest the vibration energy from all directions, it can fully charge a 20μF to 7V in 200s (Scientific Reports, 2014, 4, 4811). These research works possess unique characteristics such as the dependence of configurations, the controllable enhancing/weakening trend and amplitude, and multi-level output (AEM, 2015, 1500187), opens a window in exploring the high efficiency energy harvester to meet the needs of long term power supply.
Zhang first discovered the high efficiency power management technology for TENGs. TENG has emerging as an important approach for energy harvesting. However, low charging efficiency as well as low power conversion efficiency have restricted its practical application for powering traditional electronics, Zhang invented a power management (PM) strategy by extracting maximum energy from TENG and transferring the energy to storage unit employing optimized Inductor-Capacitor (LC) oscillating (Nano Energy, 2017, 38, 438-446). Over 2600 times improvement in stored energy than standard circuit was achieved, and more than 72% alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) power transfer efficiency was obtained for different modes TENGs. In addition, she implemented an integrated self-charging power unit (SCPU) with a triboelectric nanogenerator and supercapacitor (JMCA, 2016, 4, 14298) which can simultaneously harvest and store energy during ambient vibration process. Several high quality supercapacitors were developed to match different applications, such as, reestanding Micro-Supercapacitor With Interdigital Electrodes for Low-Power Electronic Systems (JMEMS, 2017, 26/5, 1055-1061), All-fabric-based wearable self-charging power cloth (APL, 2017, 111, 073901), Highly Compressible Integrated Supercapacitor-Piezoresistance-Sensor System for long term health monitoring (Small, 2017, 1702091). This Power Unit provides a feasible solution for sustainable power supply and shows great potential in micro-energy fields and self-powered systems.
Zhang pioneered the original idea of active sensing technology by combing electrification and electric-static and piezoelectric effect, for monitoring the weak signals, such as, position, motion, temperature, humidity, respiratory information and radial artery pulse, etc (Nano Energy, 2017, 32, 479-487; APL, 2018, 112, 203902). Zhang first proposed the self-powered analogue smart skin for detecting contact location and velocity of the object, its resolution can be achieved at 1.9 mm in 25cm3 area with only four terminals (ACS NANO, 2016, 10/4, 4083-4091). Zhang invented the first non-contact self-powered e-skin, it can serve as a human machine interface due to its ability to sense noncontact motions (AFM, 2018, 28, 1704641). Inspired by Finger anatomical structure, Zhang developed several finger-like e-skin devices, which can execute many complicated tasks and greatly expands the applications (Nano Energy, 2017,40, 65-72; AFM, 2017, 27, 1604434). Her continues discovery and breakthroughs in developing simple structure and high integration devices for self-powered active systems and push them closer to practical applications such as flexible electronics, wearable electronics, implantable device, etc. Dr. Zhang initiated the “all-in-one self-powered flexible microsystems” (Nano Energy, 2018, 47, 410-426) by introducing the technology of TENG around the following major categories: working principles, advanced materials, active sensors, actuators, et al, which has inspired the worldwide trend of integrated microsystems.