Prof Rong XU

Principal Investigator

Prof Xu Rong is a Professor in the School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering. She studied Chemical Engineering at the National University of Singapore. She received her Bachelor degree (1st Class) in 1998, Master degree in 2000 and PhD degree in 2004 under the supervision of Professor Hua Chun Zeng. In the same year she joined Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010. She served as Associate Chair (Research) during 2011-2014. Prof Xu has been the Interim Chair of the School since July 2017.

Prof Xu's research group has been actively involved in areas related to energy and environmental applications including solar fuel generation and water treatment. One of her research focus is on the development of nano-engineered particulate semiconductor photocatalysts, molecular complexes and hybrid systems for conversion of solar energy to chemical energy via photocatalytic water splitting and carbon dioxide reduction to hydrocarbons and oxygenates. Her group designs efficient inorganic co-catalysts and metal complex catalysts with appropriate interface with the photosensitisers to achieve efficient light absorption, charge separation and utilisation. She has completed several projects in these areas as PI with a total value of more than S$5 million from funding agencies such as Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR), Ministry of Education, National Environmental Agency.

Currently her work is funded by National Research Foundation through the CREATE Programmes and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

Singapore - NTU



Research Interest

- Photocatalysis for reduction of carbon dioxide and hydrogen production by splitting water using visible light.
- Heterogeneous catalysis for environmental applications.
- Organic-inorganic layered materials (LDHs) for pharmaceutical applications.
- Development of artificial cornea (nanoparticle/polymer composite).
- Antimicrobial membrane for water treatment (Silver in microfiltration membrane).
- Immobilization of enzymes on inorganic solid support as scalable and reusable biocatalysts.

Key Publications

Google Scholar Link

Lu, Yan, Haojing Wang, Pengfei Yu, Yifei Yuan, Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, Yuan Sheng, Shuyang Wu, et al. 2020. ‘Isolated Ni Single Atoms in Nitrogen Doped Ultrathin Porous Carbon Templated from Porous G-C3N4 for High-Performance CO2 Reduction’. Nano Energy 77 (November): 105158.

Wu, Shuyang, Weijing Wang, Wenguang Tu, Shengming Yin, Yuan Sheng, Manoel Y. Manuputty, Markus Kraft, and Rong Xu. 2018. ‘Premixed Stagnation Flame Synthesized TiO 2 Nanoparticles with Mixed Phases for Efficient Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation’. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 6 (11): 14470–79.

Ou, Man, Wenguang Tu, Shengming Yin, Weinan Xing, Shuyang Wu, Haojing Wang, Shipeng Wan, Qin Zhong, and Rong Xu. 2018. ‘Amino‐Assisted Anchoring of CsPbBr3 Perovskite Quantum Dots on Porous G‐C3N4 for Enhanced Photocatalytic CO2 Reduction’. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57 (41): 13570–74.

Yin, Shengming, Wenguang Tu, Yuan Sheng, Yonghua Du, Markus Kraft, Armando Borgna, and Rong Xu. 2018. ‘A Highly Efficient Oxygen Evolution Catalyst Consisting of Interconnected Nickel-Iron-Layered Double Hydroxide and Carbon Nanodomains’. Advanced Materials 30 (5): 1705106.

Li, Chunmei, Yonghua Du, Danping Wang, Shengming Yin, Wenguang Tu, Zhong Chen, Markus Kraft, Gang Chen, and Rong Xu. 2017. ‘Unique P-Co-N Surface Bonding States Constructed on g-C3N4 Nanosheets for Drastically Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity of H2 Evolution’. Advanced Functional Materials 27 (4): 1604328.

Xu, You, Wenguang Tu, Bowei Zhang, Shengmin Yin, Yizhong Huang, Markus Kraft, and Rong Xu. 2017. ‘Nickel Nanoparticles Encapsulated in Few-Layer Nitrogen-Doped Graphene Derived from Metal–Organic Frameworks as Efficient Bifunctional Electrocatalysts for Overall Water Splitting’. Advanced Materials, 1605957.

Zhou, Tianhua, Yonghua Du, Danping Wang, Shengming Yin, Wenguang Tu, Zhong Chen, Armando Borgna, and Rong Xu. 2017. ‘Phosphonate-Based Metal–Organic Framework Derived Co–P–C Hybrid as an Efficient Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Evolution Reaction’ 7 (9): 6000–6007.

Tu, Wenguang, You Xu, Jiajia Wang, Bowei Zhang, Tianhua Zhou, Shengming Yin, Shuyang Wu, et al. 2017. ‘Investigating the Role of Tunable Nitrogen Vacancies in Graphitic Carbon Nitride Nanosheets for Efficient Visible-Light-Driven H2 Evolution and CO2 Reduction’ 5 (8): 7260–68.

Xu, You, Markus Kraft, and Rong Xu. 2016. ‘Metal-Free Carbonaceous Electrocatalysts and Photocatalysts for Water Splitting’. Chemical Society Reviews 45 (11): 3039–52.

Zhang, W., Wang, Y. B., Wang, Z., Zhong, Z. Y., Xu, R.*. (2010). Highly Efficient and Noble Metal-Free NiS/CdS Photocatalysts for Hydrogen Evolution from Lactic Acid Sacrificial Solution under Visible Light. Chemical Communications, 46, 7631-7633.

Gunawan, P. and Xu, R.*. (2009). Direct Assembly of Anisotropic Layered Double Hydroxide (LDH) Nanocrystals on Spherical Template for Fabrication of Drug-LDH Hollow Nanospheres. Chemistry of Materials, 21, 781-783.

Zhang, W., and Xu, R.*. (2009). Surface Engineered Active Photocatalysts without Noble Metals: CuS-ZnxCd1-xS Nanospheres by One-Step Synthesis. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 34, 8495-8503.


Prof Xu has published over 140 papers in top tier journals including Advanced Materials, Science Advances, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS Nano, etc. She received the Top-Cited Papers for 2010 and 2011 Award from Elsevier, New York, USA for her paper on supported cobalt oxide catalysts for water treatment published in Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. She is currently an Associate Editor of the Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology.