Key Emerging Technology


Advanced Materials

Contact team

AMDS lab
AMDS lab personnel at the 1st Annual Christmas Dinner at Cafe Swiss in 2018

The Advanced Material Team in TL@NTU have extensive mate​rial devel​opment capabilities and system integration expertise over decades of experience. Our material synthesis repertoire includes (but is not limited to):

  1. Micro/nanomaterials, led by Dr Lai Changquan
  2. ​​​Micro/nanomaterial for high performance in mechanical applications through innovative research in design and manufacturing processes. Of particular interest are smart materials that can change its form and size in response to an external stimulus for shapeshifting applications. The team currently have capabilities in 3D printing, characterization of the quasi-static, dynamic and acoustic properties of very soft and/ or small samples, as well as simulation of mechanical response of different materials and structures under a variety of settings.

    Simulation of a polymer-polymer interpenetrating composite
    A selective heat sintering 3D printer that was developed in this lab
    A time resolved high speed camera footage of a microlattice being crushed at a strain rate of 1000/s. Scale bar indicates 0.1mm
    Experimental characterization of a polymer-polymer interpenetrating composite
    A 3D printed graphene-polymer composite showing the letters, “NTU”
  3. High performance ceramics and composites, led by Prof Gan Chee Lip/ Dr Du Zehui​​
  4. Our research interest primarily lies in:

    • Shape memory ceramics and nanocomposites;
    • Processing science and performance engineering of functional and structural ceramics;
    • Additive manufacturing of ceramic materials, paste development, densification mechanism and functionalization of the printed ceramic structures.

    Our recent achievements includes the development of robust small-volume shape memory ceramics with unprecedented shape memory and superelasticity properties and the development of high performance electro-optic thin film materials (PLZT, PZT, PMN-PT) and SiO2f/ SiO2 composites. The team have comprehensive processing and testing capabilities for ceramic materials, including, but not limited to ball milling, CIP, debinding, pressureless and pressurized sintering furnaces, grinding/ polishing equipments and in-situ nanoindenter etc.

    Monodisperse shape memory ceramic particles exhibit enhanced superelastic properties with recoverable strain of ~5%, superelastic cycling >500 times and dissipated energy up to ~40 MJ/m3 per cycle.

    (ref: Zehui Du, Chee Lip Gan, et al., J.Am.Ceram.Soc., 100:4199–4208, 2017)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    The research area that the team is currently focused on
    ​The processing/ testing equipment that the team has.
  5. Functional polymer and composite systems, led by Prof Hu Xiao/ Dr Liu Ming
  6. The expertise in polymer science and engineering as well as chemistry and nanotechnology enabled us to create engineered polymers, composites and hybrid materials for specific applications. Our design principle is based on in-depth understanding of the mechanisms and structural origin of the unique mechanical, thermal, electronic, photonic and dielectric properties of these materials. Bio-inspired approa​ch is credited for the development of tough and highly processible preceramic hybrid resins, and functional nano-fibers mimicking the infrared (IR) reflectance of vegetation foliage. Another innovation is the specifically designed “molecular charge traps” to substantially enhance the breakdown strength of functional dielectric polymers. Our advanced resin systems, including preceramic hybrid resins, were designed for high performance light-weighting, thermal management, electronic packaging, signature reduction and more. A recent initiative is to address the key challenges in additive manufacturing via molecular design.

    ​Digital image of the highly transparent hybrid resin
    Molecular structure of the highly transparent hybrid resin
    ​Significant enhancement in the thermal conductivity credited to the “double sided” tape effects of basally functionalized graphene
    ​Novel material systems mimicking the IR reflectance of natural vegetation foliage in the near IR to shortwave IR spectrum
    200% improvement in the normalized toughness at extremely low filler content by employing unconventional bio-inspired strategy
    Almost identical reflectance spectra of fresh leaf and the developed fiber cloth
    Digital image of a miniature drone
    IR image shows the color independence of the leaf mimicking behavior
    IR image of a miniature drone
  7. Nano Carbon and Boron Nitride (C and BN) based materials for a variety of applications, led by Prof Teo Hang Tong Edwin/ Dr Tsang Siu Hon

Quixotically, BN and C can be thought of as ideal Yin-Yang counterparts, same in some ways which allows for ease of intermixing yet wholly different in others to enable tuning of properties. Using this aspect of the materials, the team purposefully configure the nano variants of BN and C to elicit explicit properties which can be exploited for targeted applications. Here the team can synthesize all variants of the materials from 0D quantum dots to 1D nanotubes to 2D surfaces to 3D foams and even diamond films. Our application domain ranges from thermal regulation and control, space materials, re-generative medicine, artificial skin for robotics, thermal acoustics to emerging materials for defense applications. Our in house capability stretches the entire range from design of materials to optical, thermal and electrical characterization to integration testing and performance benchmarking.​



Assoc Prof Teo Hang Tong Edwin
Research Director (Advanced Material) Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Email: Phone: +65 67906371
Dr Du Zehui
Programme Manager (Advanced Material) Senior Research Scientist Email: Phone: +65 65141049