Affiliated Faculty

Affiliated faculty for the MSEI are affiliated with the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Earth & Planetary Sciences in the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering.
Jin Zhong Zhang
  • Title
    • Distinguished Professor
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
  • Affiliations Biomolecular Science & Engineering
  • Phone
    831-459-3776 (Office), 831-459-3912 (Lab)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Physical Sciences Building, 152
    • Physical Sciences Bldg 152 (Office)
    • Physical Sciences Bldg 179 (Lab)
  • Mail Stop Chemistry
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Chemistry
  • Courses Chemistry 1B (current), Graduate Spectroscpy, Graduate Quantum Chemistry, Undergraduate Quantum Chemistry, Chemistry 1A, Physical Chemistry Lab

Summary of Expertise

Design, synthesis, characterization, and application of nanomaterials, including semiconductor and metal nanoparticles; femtosecond laser spectroscopy; ultrafast dynamics of nanomaterials; cancer biomarker detection; surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy; solar energy conversion, sensing, and light emission.

Research Interests

The Zhang research group is primarily interested in the design, development, characterization, and application of advanced materials with emphasis on optical and electronic nanomaterials (nanocrystals or quantum dots, magic sized clusters, and quantum dot solids) of both semiconductors and metals. These nanomaterials have novel physical and chemical properties due to quantum confinement and exceedingly large surface to volume ratio. The design and synthesis of the materials are mostly based on inorganic colloidal chemistry methods. The synthesized materials are characterized systematically and extensively using a variety of experimental techniques including SERS (surface-enhanced Raman scattering), optical spectroscopy, ultrafast laser, x-ray (XAFS, XPS), ESR, electrochemical, and microscopy. In the meantime, the group actively explores emerging technological applications of these advanced nanomaterials in areas such as solar energy conversion, hydrogen generation via water splitting, cancer biomarker detection, photoelectrochemistry, sensors, and LEDs. A number of projects have been accomplished and several are currently under investigation. Some examples of on-going projects include:


1. Metal halide perovskite films, quantum dots (QDs), and magic sized clusters (MSCs): fundamental issues related to stability, optical properties, solar energy conversion, LED and sensing applications

2. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensors for chemical and biomedical detection with emphasis on cancer biomarkers including antigens and antibodies. 


3. Photothermal imaging and ablation therapy of cancer cells using hollow gold nanoshells (HGNs)

4. Ultrafast studies of exciton and charge carrier dynamics in doped and undoped semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and plasmonic metal nanostructures.

5. Hydrogen generation via water splitting based on novel semiconductor, oxide, and metal nanostructures including nanowires and nanorods via photoelectrochemistry or photocatalysis.

Biography, Education and Training

1983, Chemistry, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
1989, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle
1992, Postdoctoral Fellows, UC Berkeley


2020-present        UC Distinguished Professor

2004-2020            Full Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

1998-2004            Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

2000 May-Sept.   Visiting Scientist, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill

2000 Jan.-March  Visiting Scholar, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University

1992-98                Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

1989-92                Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California, Berkeley

1992                      Visiting Scientist, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill

1983-84                English Training for the Doering Chemistry Graduate Program (CGP), Zhongshan University, Guangzhou, China

1984-89                Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, University of Washington, Seattle


Honors, Awards and Grants

2024 Inaugural Highly Ranked Scholar by ScholarGPS (top 0.05% of all scholars worldwide) and highly ranked scholar-lifetime (#24 in Nanostructure and #142 in Physical Chemistry).

2023 Achievements Award of Multiscale Functional Materials, International symposium on advances in multiscale functional materials, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technologies.

2023 Ranked 316th in the top scientists in materials science in the USA (conducted by

2021 Materials Scientists Award, International Conferences on Materials: Advanced and Emerging Materials, Chinese Academy of Sciencee Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technologies.

2020 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

2019 Inducted Fellow of International Association of Advanced Materials

2019 Highli cited researchets (top 1%) and researchers with cross-field impact, Clarivate Analytics and Web of Science

2018 Highli cited researchets (top 1%), Clarivate Analytics and Web of Science



2014 Richard A. Glenn Award, ACS Energy and Fuel Division

2011 Elected Fellows of the American Chemical Society
2009 Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society
2009-present, Adjunct Professor of Beijing Institute of Technology
2009-present, Adjunct Professor of Nanyang University of Science and Technology, Nanyang, Henan, China
2007 Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2008-present, Adjunct Professor of Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
2006-present, Guest Professor, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China
2007-2009, Overseas Young Investigator Award, NSF of China, Sponsored by Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2005-2007, Senior Visiting Scholar, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
2006-2010, Member of AAAS
1991-present, Member of the American Chemical Society
1988-2010, Member of the American Physical Society
1984-85, Doering Chemistry Graduate Program (CGP) Fellowship, University of Washington, Seattle
1983, Recipient of CGP Award by the Chinese Education Commission
1983, Outstanding Student Award, Fudan University, China

Selected Publications



1.  Allison A. Win, Kai-Chun Chou, David C. Zeitz, Jin Z. Zhang, “Origin of the near 400 nm Absorption and Emission Band in the Synthesis of Cesium Lead Bromide Nanostructures: Metal Halide Molecular Clusters Rather Than Perovskite Magic-Sized Clusters”, JPCL, 14, 116-121, 2023.

2.  Heng Zhang, Evan Vickers, Samuel Erickson, Melissa Guarino-Hotz, Jeremy  Barnett, Sayantani Ghosh, Jin Z. Zhang, “Synthesis and Properties of Stable Metal Halide Molecular Clusters in Solid State", JPCL, 13, 10543-10549, 2022.

3.  Yuanjie Chen, Ruosheng Zeng, Qilin Wei, Shuai Zhang, Yu Wang, Canxu Chen, Xiaoshan Zhu, Sheng Cao, Bingsuo Zou, and Jin Zhong Zhang, “Competitive Energy Transfer-Modulated Dual Emission in Mn2+-Doped Cs2NaTbCl6 Rare-Earth Double Perovskites”, JPCL, 13, 8529-8536, 2022.

4.   Melissa Guarino-Hotz, Jeremy L. Barnett, Liem Pham, Allison Win, Vivien L. Cherrette, and Jin Z. Zhang, “Tuning Between Methylammonium Lead Bromide Perovskite Magic Sized Clusters and Quantum Dots through Ligand Assisted Reprecipitation at Elevated Temperatures”, JPCC, 28, 13854-13862, 2022. (invited for H. Weller special issue).


5.  Jingjie Wu, Xianli Li, Xin Lian, Binbin Su, Junhong Pang, Ming-De Li, Zhiguo Xia, Jin Z. Zhang, Binbin Luo, and Xiao-Chun Huang, “Ultrafast Study of Exciton Transfer in Sb(III)-Doped Two Dimensional [NH3(CH2)4NH3]CdBr4 Perovskite ”, ACS Nano, 15, 15354-15361, 2021.

6.  Li Liu, Keliang Pan, Ke Xu, Xitian Peng, and Jin Z. Zhang, “Synthesis and Optical Properties of Mn2+-Doped Amino Lead Halide Molecular Clusters”, JPCL, 12, 7497-7503, 2021.

7. Benaz Colabewala, Evan T. Vickers, Katerina Nikolaidou, Albert DiBenedetto, Jin Z. Zhang, and Sayantani Ghosh, “High Efficiency Luminescent Solar Concentrator based on Organo-metal Halide Perovskite Quantum Dots with Plasmon Enhancement“, Adv. Opt. Mater. 2100754, 2021.

8. Tyler Smart, Hiroyuki Hiroyuki, Tuan Anh Pham, Liang Tan, Jin Z. Zhang, Tadashi Ogitsu, Yuan Ping, “Enhancing Defect Tolerance with Ligands at the Surface of Lead Halide Perovskites”, JPCL, 12, 6299-6304, 2021.

9. Amrita Dey, Junzhi Ye, Apurba De, Elke Debroye, Seung Kyun Ha, Eva Bladt, Anuraj S. Kshirsagar, Ziyu Wang, Jun Yin, Yue Wang, Li Na Quan, Yan Fei, Mengyu Gao, Xiaoming Li, Javad Shamsi, Tushar Debnath, Muhan Cao, Manuel A. Scheel, Sudhir Kumar, Julian A. Steele, Marina Gerhard, Lata Chouhan, Ke Xu, Xian-gang Wu, Yanxiu Li, Yangning Zhang, Anirban Dutta, Chuang Han, Ilka Vincon, Andrey L. Rogach, Angshuman Nag, Anunay Samanta,§ Brian A. Korgel, Chih-Jen Shih, Daniel R. Gamelin, Dong Hee Son, Haibo Zeng, Haizheng Zhong, Handong Sun, Hilmi Volkan Demir, Ivan G. Scheblykin, Iván Mora-Seró, Jacek K. Stolarczyk, Jin Z. Zhang, Jochen Feldmann, Johan Hofkens, Joseph M. Luther, Julia Pérez-Prieto, Liang Li, Liberato Manna, Maryna I. Bodnarchuk, Maksym V. Kovalenko, Maarten B.J. Roeffaers, Narayan Pradhan, Omar F. Mohammed, Osman M. Bakr, Peidong Yang, Peter Müller-Buschbaum, Prashant V Kamat, Qialiang Bao, Qiao Zhang, Roman Krahne, Rauel E. Galian, Samuel D Stranks, Sara Bals, Vasudevanpillai Biju, William A. Tisdale, Yong Yan, Robert L. Z. Hoye, and Lakshminarayana Polavarapu, “State of the Art and Prospects of Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals“, ACS Nano, 15, 10775-10981, 2021 (invited review).

10.  Yi-Yan Li, Chu-Yao Zhong, Mei-Xin Li, Qiao-Yi Zhang, Yibo Chen, Zhao-Qing Liu, Jin Zhong Zhang, “Tuning Morphology-Dependent Localized Surface Plasmon Resonances in Quasi-Metallic Tungsten Oxide for Enhanced Photocatalytic Propertysis”, JMCC, 9, 1614, 2021.






Teaching Interests

General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Lab, Graduate Quantum Chemistry, Graduate Spectroscopy.