Introducing the Winners of the first Nano Materials Science Awards

Published 05 August, 2021

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Nano Materials Science Awards. This is the first year the awards have been held and we have selected only four winners from the 40+ outstanding nominations we received from 19 countries.

Launched by the journal Nano Materials Science, the annual awards are designed to recognise individual scientists for outstanding contributions to nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Winner – Prof. Zhong Lin Wang

Dr. Zhong Lin Wang is the Director of the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, and Regents' Professor and Hightower Chair at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Wang pioneered the nanogenerators from fundamental science to technological applications. His research on self-powered nanosystems has inspired the worldwide effort in academia and industry for studying energy for micro-nano-systems. He coined and pioneered the fields of piezotronics and piezo-phototronics for the third-generation semiconductors. Among 100,000 scientists across all fields worldwide, Wang is ranked #5 in career scientific impact, #1 in Nanoscience, and #2 in Materials Science. His google scholar citation is over 280,000 with an h-index of over 256. 

Dr. Wang has been the recipient of many awards. Some of the most recent include the Celsius Lecture Laureate, Uppsala University, Sweden (2020), The Albert Einstein World Award of Science (2019) and the Diels-Planck lecture award (2019). He has also been elected member and fellow of a broad array of societies including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and Academia of Sinica.

Dr. Wang is the founding editor and chief editor of the international journal Nano Energy, which now has an impact factor of 16.6. 

Find out more about Dr. Wang’s research

Winners of the Young Scientist Award (aged 45 years and under)

  • Prof. Qiang Zhang (Energy materials)

Dr. Qiang Zhang is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering of Tsinghua University, who held the Newton Advanced Scholarship of the Royal Society and the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars. He graduated from Tsinghua University in 2004 and continued to engage in carbon nanomaterial research. In 2009, he obtained a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Later, he worked as an assistant researcher/postdoctoral researcher at Case Western Reserve University and Fritz Haber in the Max Planck Institute of Germany. He was awarded the Zhaowu Tian Prize from the International Society of Electrochemistry, the Chinese Youth Science and Technology Prize, and the First Prize of Natural Science of the Ministry of Education. Since 2017, he has been named as the "Global Highly Cited Scientist" for four years, and his h-index is 131 (Google Scholar). In recent years, he has focused on the major needs of energy storage and utilisation and the principles of lithium-sulfur batteries and key energy materials, including dendrite-free lithium metal anodes, lithium-sulfur battery, and energy electrocatalysis, especially the structural design and full demonstration of advanced energy materials in working devices. 

Find out more about Dr. Zhang’s research


  • Prof. Xiangfeng Duan (2D materials)

Dr. Xiangfeng Duan received his B.S. Degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 1997, and Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 2002. He was a founding scientist and then Manager of Advanced Technology at Nanosys Inc., a nanotechnology startup based partly on his doctoral research. Dr. Duan joined UCLA with a Howard Reiss Career Development Chair in 2008, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012 and Full Professor in 2013. Dr. Duan’s research interests include nanoscale materials, devices and their applications in future electronic and energy technologies. Dr. Duan has published over 300 papers with over 70,000 citations, and holds over 50 US patents. Dr. Duan has received many awards for his pioneering research in nanoscale science and technology, including MIT Technology Review Top-100 Innovator Award, Alpha Chi Sigma Glen T. Seaborg Award, Herbert Newby McCoy Research Award, US Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Award, and most recently Materials Research Society Middle Career Award. He is currently an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Find out more about Dr. Duan’s research


  • Prof. Valeria Nicolosi (Material characterisation)

Dr. Valeria Nicolosi is a Research Professor and the Chair of Nanomaterials and Advanced Microscopy in Trinity College Dublin. She received a BSc (honors) in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Catania (Italy) in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Physics in 2006 from Trinity College Dublin. In 2008, she moved to the University of Oxford with a RAEng/EPSRC Fellowship. She has published more than 180 high-impact-papers and won numerous awards: RDS/Intel Prize for Nanoscience 2012, World Economic Forum Young Scientist 2013, WMB Woman in Technology Award 2013, SFI President of Ireland Young Researcher Award 2014, SFI Irish Early Stage Researcher 2016, and TCD ERC Awardee 2017.

Prof. Nicolosi’s work includes synthesis, exfoliation and characterisation of layered materials towards a range of applications ranging from composites to energy storage and ICT. Strong emphasis is given to the characterisation of materials and devices by advanced electron microscopy techniques, such as aberration-corrected TEM, STEM, EELS and EDS.

Find out more about Dr. Nicolosi’s research


Certificates will be awarded to the winners at one of the following events:

  • The International Nano Materials Science Forum – an offline conference scheduled to be held in November 2021.
  • The Nano Materials Science Forum – an online event which more than 24,000 people attended.


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