Emergent Materials and Intelligent TEM (EMIT) Lab aims to advance the construction and characterization of chemically assembled materials with sophisticated structures and emergent properties. Our research interests revolve around three intertwined directions:

1. Chemically Assembled Emergent Materials: we design mesoscale hybrid / hierarchical materials with specific motifs and electronic structures, construct them through controllable self-assembly, and explore their applications in energy and quantum technologies.

2. Intelligent Characterization: we develop intelligent TEM (transmission electron microscopy) techniques, such as the combination of in situ liquid-cell TEM and computer vision analysis, to reveal the governing rule for hierarchical chemical assembly.

3. Artificial Intelligence: we employ AI techniques to help the design of hierarchical materials, predict their structures and properties, and develop intelligent structural recognition methods for analyzing complex characterization data (especially for in situ experiments).

Multiscale hybridization of nanocrystals (e.g., quantum dots and nanosheets) and soft matrix (e.g., elastomers and liquid crystals), prepared through controllable self-assembly with emphasis on topology and strong electronic coupling, applications shown in the outer ring.
Combination of liquid-cell TEM and low-dose techniques enables the real-time in-situ imaging of synthesis and self-assembly of nanocrystals with atomic resolution and can also be used for e-beam sensitive materials such as soft matter and energy materials.
Artificial intelligence research in our lab consists of two interactive directions: developing algorithms to automatically identify materials structures from raw TEM data and optical spectra; developing learning networks to predict the products of chemistry in different environments.


Principal Investigator

Dr. Yu Wang 王宇   |   pdf pdf mail
Professor, School of Emergent Soft Matter, South China University of Technology

Ph.D. Students

Yansong Jiang 姜岩松   |   mail
MSc from Jilin Univ
Nanocrystals and Applications

Xiang Zhou 周翔   |   mail
MSc from Shanxi Univ
TEM and Hybrid Materials

Master Students and Reseach Assistants

Panjing Zhang 张潘静   |   mail
BSc from East China Univ of Tech
Soft Robotics

Xuehai Huang 黄雪海   |   mail
BSc from Tiangong Univ
Artificial Intelligence and TEM

Kefan Yang 杨可凡   |   mail
BSc from Dalian Univ of Tech
Emergent Materials

Daiyue Sun 孙岱岳   |   mail
R.A. BSc from Georgia Tech
Artificial Intelligence for Soft Matter

Yingyao Li 李滢耀   |   mail
BSc from Guangzhou Univ
Emergent Materials

Huirong Liu 刘慧荣   |   mail
BSc from South China Univ of Tech
Emergent Materials

Undergraduate Students

Zhenda He 何镇达   |   mail
School of Emergent Soft Matter 2021

Xinyi Pan 潘忻宜   |   mail
School of Emergent Soft Matter 2021

Wenxin Chang 常文馨   |   mail
School of Emergent Soft Matter 2021

Welcome to visit our charming Campus!

GuangZhou International Campus of South China University of Technology

Gallery of Lab


[22] Y. Liu, Tong Liu, X. Yan, Q. Guo, H. Lei, Z. Huang, R. Zhang, Y. Wang, J. Wang, F. Liu, F. Bian, E.W. Meijer, T. Aida, M. Huang*, and Stephen Z.D. Cheng*
Expanding quasiperiodicity in soft matter: Supramolecular decagonal quasicrystals by binary giant molecule blends.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2022, 119, e2115304119.

Prior to joining SCUT (2021.08)

[21] J. Jiang, Y. Wang, L. Jin, C-H Hsu, S. Zhang, J. Mao, W. Yin, T. Li, B. Ni, Z. Su, J. Huang, C. Wesdemiotis, K. Yue, W. Zhang*, and S. Z. D. Cheng*.
Modularly constructed polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-based giant molecules for unconventional nanostructure fabrication.
ACS Appl. Nano Mater., 2020, 3, 2952.

[20] Y. Wang,† X. Peng,† A. Abelson, P. Xiao, C. Qian, L. Yu, C. Ophus, P. Ercius, L-W. Wang, M. Law, and H. Zheng*.
Dynamic deformability of individual PbSe nanocrystals during superlattice phase transitions.
Sci. Adv., 2019, 5, eaaw5623
Highlighted by Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

[19] H. L. Zhang,† Y. Wang,† H. Zhang,† X. Liu,† A. Lee, Q. Huang, F. Wang J. Chao, H. Liu, J. Li, J. Shi, X. Zuo, L. Wang, L. Wang, X. Y. Cao, C. Bustamante, Z. Q. Tian*, and C. H. Fan*.
Programming chain-growth co-polymerization of DNA hairpin tiles for in-vitro hierarchical supramolecular organization.
Nat. Commun., 2019, 10, 1006

[18] Y. Wang,† Y. Sun,† P. Shi, X. Lin, P. Zhang, H. Fang, P. Peng, Z. Q. Tian, and X. Cao*.
Chaperone-like chiral cages for catalyzing enantioselective supramolecular polymerization.
Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 8076
Selected as Front Cover, Editor’s Pick of the Week, and 2019 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection.
Highlighted by RSC news as “Coaching catalysis”.

[17] Y. Wang, X. Peng, A. Abelson, B. Zhang, P. Ercius, L-W. Wang, M. Law, and H. Zheng*.
Atomic-resolution in situ observation of the necking phenomenon during oriented attachment of PbSe nanocrystals
Nano Res., 2019, 12, 2549

[16] Z. Su, C. Hsu, Z. Gong, X. Feng, J. Huang, R. Zhang, Y. Wang, J. Mao, C. Wesdemiotis, T. Li, S. Seifert, W. Zhang, T. Aida, M. Huang*, and S. Z.D. Cheng*.
Identification of a Frank–Kasper Z phase from shape amphiphile self-assembly.
Nat. Chem., 2019, 11, 899.

[15] R. Lu, X. Yan, L. Zhu, L. Yang, H. Qu, X. Wang, M. Luo, Y. Wang, R. Chen, X. Wang, Y. Lan, J. Pei, W. Weng, H. Xia, and X. Cao*.
Unveiling how intramolecular stacking modes of covalently linked dimers dictate photoswitching properties.
Nat. Commun., 2019, 10, 5480.

[14] Q. Zhang, G. Gao, Y. Shen, X. Peng, J. Shangguan, Y. Wang, H. Dong, K. Bustillo, L. Wang, L. Sun, and H. Zheng*.
Anomalous shape evolution of Ag2O2 nanocrystals modulated by surface adsorbates during electron beam etching.
Nano Lett., 2019, 19, 591.

[13] X. X. Peng, A. Abelson, Y. Wang, C. Qian, J. Shangguan, Q. Zhang, L. Yu, Z. W. Yin, W. Zheng, K. C. Bustillo, X. Guo, H. G. Liao, S. G. Sun, M. Law, and H. M. Zheng*.
In situ TEM study of the degradation of PbSe nanocrystals in air.
Chem. Mater., 2019, 31, 190.

[12] Y. Wang,† H. X. Fang,† I. Tranca, H. Qu, X. C. Wang, A. J. Markvoort*, Z. Q. Tian, and X. Y. Cao*.
Elucidation of the origin of chiral amplification in discrete molecular polyhedra.
Nat. Commun., 2018, 9, 488 

[11] Z. A. Nan, Y. Wang*, Z. X. Chen, S. F. Yuan, Z. Q. Tian, and Q. M. Wang*.
Catalyzed assembly of hollow silver-sulfide cluster through self-releasable anion template.
Commun. Chem. 2018, 1, 99.

[10] X. C. Wang, P. X. Peng, W. Xuan, Y. Wang, Y. B. Zhuang, Z. Q. Tian, and X. C. Cao*.
Narcissistic chiral self-sorting of molecular face-rotating polyhedra.
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2018, 16, 34.

[9] H. Qu, Y. Wang*, Z. H. Li, X. C. Wang, H. X. Fang, Z. Q. Tian, and X. Y. Cao*.
Molecular face-rotating cube with emergent chiral and fluorescence properties.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 18142.

[8] Y. Wang, H. X. Fang, W. Zhang, Y. B. Zhuang, Z. Q. Tian, and X. Y. Cao*.
Interconversion of molecular face-rotating polyhedra through turning inside out.
Chem. Commun., 2017, 53, 8956

[7] Y. Wang, Y. B. Sun, X. B. Ding, J. H. Liang, X. Y. Cao, and Z. Q. Tian*.
A combined electro- and photo-chemical approach to repeatedly fabricate 2D molecular assemblies.
Electrochim. Acta., 2017, 246, 823.

[6] Z. W. Lin, J. Sun, Y.B. Zhou, Y. Wang, H. Xu, X. Yang, H. Su, H.G. Cui, T. Aida, W. Zhang*, and S. Z.D. Cheng*.
A noncrystallization approach toward uniform thylakoids-like 2D “nano-coins” and their grana-like 3D suprastructures.
J. Am. Soc. Chem., 2017, 139, 5883.

[5] X. C. Wang,† Y. Wang,† H. Y. Yang, H. X. Fang, R. X. Chen, Y. B. Sun, N. F. Zheng, K. Tan, X. Lu, Z. Q. Tian, and X. Y. Cao*.
Assembled molecular face-rotating polyhedra to transfer chirality from two to three dimensions.
Nat. Commun., 2016, 7, 12469.

[4] L. Q. Xie, T. Y. Zhang, L. Chen, N. Guo, Y. Wang, G. K. Liu, J. R. Wang, J. Z. Zhou, J. W. Yan, Y. X. Zhao, B. W. Mao*, and Z. Q. Tian.
Organic–inorganic interactions of single crystalline organolead halide perovskites studied by Raman spectroscopy.
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016, 18, 18112.

[3] H. X. Lin, L. Chen, D. Y. Liu, Z. C. Lei, Y. Wang, X. S. Zheng, B. Ren, Z. X. Xie, Galen D. Stucky*, and Z. Q. Tian*.
Constructing two-dimensional nanoparticle arrays on layered materials inspired by atomic epitaxial growth.
J. Am. Soc. Chem., 2015, 137, 2828.

[2] Y. Wang, H. X. Lin, L. Chen, S. Y. Ding, Z. C. Lei, D. Y. Liu, X. Y. Cao*, H. J. Liang, Y. B. Jiang, and Z. Q. Tian*.
What molecular assembly can learn from catalytic chemistry.
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 399.

[1] Y. Wang, H. X. Lin, S. Y. Ding, D. Y. Liu, L. Chen, Z. C. Lei, F. R. Fan, and Z. Q. Tian*.
Some thoughts about controllable assembly (I) — From catalysis to catassembly.

Sci. Sin. Chim., 2012, 4, 525; 中国科学:化学, 2012, 4, 525.


Prof. Wang is currently lecturing three courses:

1. Introduction of Smart Materials (undergraduate)

2. Scientific Writing and Illustration (undergraduate)

3. Scientific Writing and Academic Intgrety (graduate)

Related students, please click the above links to get course materials.



Postdoctoral Researcher
We are always looking for talented postdoctoral fellows interested in our integrated research field. All postdocs receive internationally competitive financial support packages and superior benefits from local governments. Please contact EMIT Lab PI with your cover letter, CV, and representative publications. 

Graduate Students
We have vacancies for both Ph.D. students and Master students. You can contact EMIT Lab PI even before getting your postgraduate recommendation or entrance examination.

Undergraduate Students
Undergraduates are welcome to join our group meeting, and we have some interesting projects suitable for you! Just shoot us an email or come to the office directly!

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    We'd love to hear from you. If you have questions about our research, want to join us, or consider possible collaborations, feel free to contact us.

    • 381 Wushan Rd, South China University of Technology, Tianhe Dist, Guangzhou, China, 510641

    • 020-22237368
    • 广州市天河区华南理工大学(五山校区)北区科技园2号楼304室;广州市番禺区华南理工大学(国际校区)C2-b402室