Xiao Cheng Zeng

Ameritas University Professor
Willa Cather Ameritas Professor
AAAS Fellow
APS Fellow
Guggenheim Fellow
Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry

Educational Background
Postdoctoral Training, The University of Chicago
Postdoctoral Training, University of California at Los Angeles
Ph.D. The Ohio State University
B.Sc. Peking University

Research Interests
Computation Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Nanoscience

Zeng Research Group | Current Members | Former Members
Current Research | Publications | Honors and Awards

Xiao Cheng Zeng
Hamilton Hall 536

Current Research
Research activities in our group are mainly focused on three areas: (1) computational and theoretical studies of liquids and confined fluids, water (ice) in particular, and related topics such as interfaces, hydrophobicity, wetting, melting, surface tensions, nucleation, and solvation. (2) Structural evolution of clusters (in particular Au, Si, B and water), and heterogeneous nanocatalysis. (3) Computer-aided design and study of nanostructured materials (nanotubes, nanofilms, nanoribbons and nanoparticles).

We employ University of Nebraska-Lincoln Supercomputing facility to carry out virtual experiments and explore behavior of matters under extreme conditions, e.g. under high temperature, high pressure, or in highly confined environments, in which real-world experiments may be impractical or inaccessible. As an example, we have revealed several new forms of ice and silicon, solely based on large-scale computer simulations. Below, we show a snapshot of 2-dimensional "Nebraska Ice"; and a snapshot of 1-dimensional single-walled hexagonal silicon nanotube.

Nebraska Ice

"Nebraska Ice"

"Buckyball" Au17

1-dimensional single-walled hexagonal silicon nanotube


Other research activities in my group include computer-aided molecular and materials design. Below, we show a golden "buckyball" Au16. In short, the only limitation is your imagination!

"Buckyball" Au17

News Highlight by ACS Chem. Eng. News (8) & by Royal Society of Chemistry Chemistry World (4)

C&EN April 28, 2014 . C&EN February 11, 2013 . C&EN August 20, 2012. C&EN May 28, 2012. C&EN February 14, 2011. C&EN May 22, 2006. C&EN August 27, 2001. C&EN May 1, 2000. Chemistry World June, 2014. Chemistry World October, 2012. Chemistry World December, 2006. Chemistry World May, 2005.


For more information, please visit the Zeng Research Group Homepage.

Web of Science Citations (9000+) & H-index(48)

Google Citations (11000+) & H-index(55)

Complete list of publications (360+: Including 3 Nature/Science, 10 PNAS, 37 JACS, 1 Acc. Chem. Res, 1 PRX, 7 PRL, 9 Nano Lett., 4 Angewandt, 3 Adv. Mat.)

Selected Publications (7)

[629 Citations] K. Koga, G.T. Gao, H. Tanaka, and X.C. Zeng, " Formation of ordered ice nanotubes inside carbon nanotubes, " Nature  412, 802 (2001). Reported in UNL 8/22/01 News Release‚ National Scicence Foundation - Office of Legislative and Public Affairs 11/05/2001 News Media Tip‚ The HINDU 9/20/2001 (India's National Newspaper)AScribe 8/23/01 NewswireSmalltimes Newswww.chemweb.com Alchemistwww.sciencedaily.com, and featured in Aug. 27, 2001 Chem. & Eng. News

[233 Citations] S. Bulusu, X. Li, L.S. Wang, and X.C. Zeng, " Evidence of hollow golden cages," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA  103, 8326-8330 (2006). Reported by UNL Press - May 17, 2006,Omaha World Herald - May 17, 2006New York Times - May 23, 2006Nature - May 25, 2006Nature Nanotechnology - March 23, 2007Chem & Eng. News - May, 17, 2006, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer - May 16, 2006Royal Society of Chemistry (England)CERN (Courier)WikipediaNewswiseHigh Performance Computing wireInterest AlertEngineer onlineInnovations reportInside BayArea.comSpaceDailyNanotechwebEurekAlertNanotechwireThe NanoTechnology Group IncPhotonics AZoNanoPhysorg.comScience Daily,WhatsnextNetwork.comVoyle.netSoftPediaFree RepublicNetcompositesYubaNet.com

[145 Citations] Y. Pei, Y. Gao, and X.C. Zeng, "Structural Prediction of Thiolate-Protected Au38: A Face-Fused Bi-icosahedral Au Core" , J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 7830-7832 (2008).

[127 Citations] K. Koga, X.C. Zeng, and H. Tanaka, "Freezing of confined water: A bilayer ice phase in hydrophobic nanopores" , Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, 5262-5265 (1997). Featured in May, 1998 The Sciences (www.nyas.org)

[105 Citations] S. Yoo and X.C. Zeng, "Motif transition in growth patterns of small-to-medium sized silicon clusters" , Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 44, 1491-1495 (2005).

[83 Citations] J. Bai, J. Wang, and X.C. Zeng , "Multiwalled ice helixes and ice nanotubes" , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 19664-19667 (2006). Earth & Sky Radio Show , American Scientist (The Magazine of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society) , Royal Society of Chemistry (England) , Nature May 31, 2007 , Nature Nanotechnology Jan. 5, 2007 , New Scientist Dec. 12, 2006 , The Science Coalition , Science Daily , Lincoln Journal Star - Dec. 13, 2006 , Nanotechnology World , ZDNet , Materials gate , Nano Werk , Mad Cow News Site , Physorg , Newswise , Azo-nano , Sufficiently advanced , Innovations Report (Germany) , Nanotechwire , EurekAlert , What's Next In Science & Technology , Cogito.org , CCNews , Abrahadabra , Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends , Metareligion

[51 Citations] X. Wu and X.C. Zeng, "Periodic Graphene Nanobuds," Nano Lett. 9, 250-256 (2009).

Recent Publications (4)

W.-H. Zhao, L. Wang, J. Bai, L.-F. Yuan, J. L. Yang, and X. C. Zeng, "Highly Confined Water: Two-Dimensional Ice, Amorphous Ice, and Clathrate Hydrates" , Acc. Chem. Res. 47, 2505-2513 (2014).

W. H. Zhao, L. Wang, J. Bai, J. S. Francisco, and X. C. Zeng, "Spontaneous Formation of One-Dimensional Hydrogen Gas Hydrate in Carbon Nanotubes" , J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136 , 10661-10668 (2014). JACS Spotlights (7/30/2014) , and JACS Cover (7/30/2014) , highlighted by USTC (7/31/2014), and by UNL Today (8/15/2014).

S. Chen and X. C. Zeng, "Design of Ferroelectric Organic Molecular Crystals with Ultrahigh Polarization" , J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 6428-6436 (2014). Chem. Eng. News, April 28, 2014 , JACS Spotlights, April 30, 2014 , UNL Today (April 30, 2014)

R. Zhou, B. Qu, J. Dai, and X. C. Zeng, "Unraveling Crystalline Structure of High-Pressure Phase of Silicon Carbonate," Phys. Rev. X 4, 011030 (2014). UNL Today (Feb. 28, 2014) , Omaha World Herald (Feb. 27, 2014), Phys. Org. News , and Nanowerk.