Xiao Cheng Zeng (曾晓成)

Ameritas University Professor of Chemistry , University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
1000 Talents Program B (千人计划 B) Professor (Summer Research), USTC (
中国科大) (Hefei, China)
Courtesy Professor, Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, UNL
Courtesy Professor, Department of Physics, UNL
Professor, Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, UNL
US Guggenheim Fellow, 2004
Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), 2005
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2007
Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), 2013

Computational Chemistry/Physics/Nano-Materials Science

Research activities in my group are mainly focused on three areas:

(1) Chemical Physics of Phase Transition and Interfaces (120+ Publications): 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) Inorganic Clusters and Surface Catalysis (120+ Publications): Structural evolution of clusters (in particular Au, Si, B and water), and nanocatalysis.

(3) Materials Chemistry and Nanoscience (110+ Publications): Computer-aided design and study of nanostructured materials (two-dimensional monolayer materials in particular).

Research tools include Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics computer simulation, density-functional theory and ab initio quantum mechanical calculations. We use Linux (CentOS) Beowulf clusters of AMD Phenom II X4, X6, and Opteron (8-, 12-, and 16-cores), as well as Intel Core 2 Quad, i7 and Xeon workstations.

More detailed research activities can be found in:

Three Most Important Scientific Discoveries (Experimentally Confirmed): (1) The first metal element cages in nature (PNAS, 2006).   

(2) The first 2D ice -- Bilayer Ice I - (the "Nebraska Ice")  (Nature, 2000).    

(3) The first single-walled ice nanotubes - 1D Ice I, II, III  (Nature, 2001).

Journal Publications & Featured Articles (400+) ;

Web. Sci. H-index 54, Citations 10800+ ;

Google Scholar Citation (12500+) and H-index (60)

News Highlights by ACS Chem. & Eng. News (9) & by Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Chemistry World (4)

C&EN April 27, 2015 . 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 5, 2014 . Chemistry World October, 2012 . Chemistry World December, 2006 . Chemistry World May, 2005 .

Former & Current Group Members

Former Students' Awards


Top 20 Chemistry/Materials Journals

o   Nature Online

o   Science Online

o   PNAS Online

o   Nature Nanotechnology Online

o   Nature Materials Online

o   Nature Chemistry Online

o   Nature Physics Online

o   Nature Communications Online

o   JACS Online

o   Nano Letters Online

o   ACS Nano Online

o   Chemical Science Online

o   Physical Review Letters Online

o   Angewandte Chemie International Edition Online

o   UNL E-Journal list

o   Physics & Chemistry E-Journal List

o   NIST Chemical Database

o   MolData Database

o   g09 Key Words


2006-, Ameritas Distinguished University Professor , UNL
2002-2006, Inaugural Willa Cather Professor , UNL
2001-, Professor, UNL
1998 - 2001, Associate Professor, UNL
1993 - 1998, Assistant Professor, UNL


1992 - 1993, UCLA, Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Physical Chemistry
1989 - 1992, University of Chicago, Postdoctoral Fellow, Physical Chemistry
1989, The Ohio State University, Ph.D, Condensed Matter and Chemical Physics
1984, Physics(物理), Peking University (北京大学), BS (Selected for Graduate Study in US via National CUSPEA program)


Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Distinguished Lecture, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, December 18, 2013
Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), July, 2013
Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award, University of Nebraska-Lincoln , October, 2013.
Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education, UNL , February, 2012.
1000 Talents Program B (千人计划 B)Professor (Summer Research), USTC (
中国科大) (Hefei, China), September, 2011
American Chemical Society Midwest Award for Chemist of the Year (4th from U. Nebraska since 1944) , July, 2011.
University of Nebraska (System Wide) Outstanding Research & Creative Activity (ORCA) Award, April, 2010.
"Musulin Lecture" --- Southern Illinois University, May 2009.
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected in October 2007.
China National Outstanding Youth Fund (Class B) (
杰出青年B), 2006
Fellow of the American Physical Society, elected by Division of Chemical Physics, November 2005.
US&Canada J.S. Guggenheim Fellow, 2004
SIGMA XI Outstanding Young Scientist Award (Nebraska Chapter), 2004
Inaugural Willa Cather Professor (UNL), 2002
Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Achievement (UNL), 2002.
Fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1999

Editor and Editorial Board

Associate Editor, Nanoscale (Royal Society of Chemistry) May 2012
Theoretical Chemistry Accounts 2006
Journal of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (JTCC) 2007
Molecular Simulation 2008

Visiting Fellowship and Adjunct Professorship

Adjunct Professor, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, 2004-
Adjunct Professor, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 2002-
Ministry of Education Senior Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), 2001
JSPS Fellowship, Okayama University (Japan), 1999
NSF/CGP Fellowship, Kyoto University (Japan), 1994-1995

Sites of Interest

o   Asian University Rankings


Return to the UNL Department of Chemistry Faculty Page