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The Small Molecule & Multi-functional Materials Group

Front row left to right: Anika Auni, Xiaoyu Li, Fidelia Lare, Lauren Forseth, Jiahong Li, Hannah Johnson.

Back row left to right: Dr. Zhang, Brandon Bunch, Matt Hurlock

Research in Zhang group focuses on the integration of porous materials, mainly Metal–Organic Frameworks and Metal–Organic Polyhedra, with molecular compounds, metal cluster complexes, and nano‐materials or polymers to construct novel and multifunctional hybrid materials. These materials will be extensively studied in biomimetic catalysis, photocatalysis, hydrogen production, and sensing etc. In our research, systematic analysis and design will be exerted to develop multi-functional materials for a variety of applications. The goal is to gain a fundamental understanding of such systems as guidance for us to improve the performance of our materials. Students in Zhang group will be well trained in inorganic and organic synthesis, techniques for handling air-sensitive compounds, column, and thin layer chromatography, powder X-ray diffraction analysis, single-crystal X-ray crystallography, thermogravimetric analysis, UV-vis, FTIR, Fluorescence, NMR, and the use modern research related software.


Group News

October 11th, 2021

Group photo indoor-style:

October 5th, 2021

Brandon Bunch joined the group as an undergraduate researcher, welcome Brandon!

September 17th, 2021

Three of our graduate students are selected to receive graduate fellowships!!!
Congratulations to Matt, he has been selected to receive the Donald S. Matteson Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry.
Congratulations to Anika, she has been selected to receive the Frank A. Fowler Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry.
Congratulations to Jiahong, she has been selected to receive the Julian Culbertson Fellowship.

July 14th 2021

Congratulations to Leiduan, Anika, Guodong and Xiaoyu, our collaborative work “Selective hydroxylation of aryl iodides to produce phenols under mild conditions using a supported copper catalyst” (Invited contribution) has been published by RSC Advances, Good job!


June 14th, 2021

Congratulations to Matt and Leiduan, our collaborative work with the Guo group and O’Keeffe group “Evolution of 14-Connected Zr6 Secondary Building Units through Postsynthetic Linker Incorporation” (Invited contribution) has been published by ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Good job!

May 18th, 2021

Congratulations to Lydia, she has been recognized as one of the 2021 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Seniors.

March 12th, 2021

Congratulations to Jiahong, Matt and Xiaoyu, their collaborative work “Solvent-Free and Phase-Selective Synthesis of Aluminum Trimesate Metal–Organic Frameworks” has been published by Inorganic Chemistry Good job!

February 4th, 2021

Congratulations to Matt and Fidelia , their work “Two Cd-Based Luminescent Coordination Polymers Constructed from a Truncated Linker” has been published by Inorganic Chemistry Good job!



September 7th, 2020

Congratulations to Leiduan and Lydia, their work “Zr-based MOFs for oxidative desulfurization: What matters?” has been published by Green Chem.  Good job! This is a collaborative work with Prof. Sebastian Stoian at University of Idaho.


June 9th, 2020

Congratulations to Xiaoyu, her work “Microwave-assisted Synthesis of Zirconium Phosphate Nanoplatelets Supported Ru-Anadem Nano-structures and Their Catalytic Study for the Hydrogenation of Acetophenone” has been published by ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. 

April 3rd, 2020

Congratulations to Guodong, his work “Atomically dispersed palladium catalyses Suzuki–Miyaura reactions under phosphine-free conditions” has been accepted and published online by one of the new Nature journals, Communications Chemistry.

February 26, 2020

Our collaborative paper “Molten NaCl-induced MOF-derived Carbon-polyhedron Decorated Carbon-nanosheet with High Defects and High N-doping for Boosting the Removal of Carbamazepine from Water” has been accepted and published online by Environmental Science: Nano.

October 10, 2019

Our review paper has been accepted for publication by European Journal of Organic Chemistry. Congratulations to Leiduan, Guodong and Derek.

August 23, 2019

Congratulations to Matt, he has been selected to receive the James P & Lee Ella Ruck Grad Fellowship in Chemistry for the 2019-20 academic year.


August 12, 2019

Congratulations to Derek, he has been accepted into the WSU-PNNL Distinguished Graduate Research Program. He will spend his last two years of graduate research at PNNL working with Dr. Praveen Thallapally.


April 9, 2019

Congratulations to Leiduan, Our work “Efficient oxidative desulfurization using a mesoporous Zr-based MOF” has been accepted by Catalysis Today.

April 4, 2019

Our collaborative work with Dr. Mazur has been accepted by Langmuir.

March 25, 2019

Dr. Zhang has been selected as one of the 22 Emerging Investigators in Crystal Growth & Design.

January 25, 2019

We helped the Dr. Universe to answer chemistry questions from kids. See the article here.

January 17, 2019

Our collaborative work with Dr. Lin from MME has been accepted by ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

November 11, 2018

Congratulations to Leiduan, the collaborative work has been accepted by New Journal of Chemistry.

September 25, 2018

Congratulations to Leiduan, her work has been accepted by Chem. Comm.

August 31, 2018

Congratulations to Matt, his work has been accepted by Crystal Growth & Design, good job!

June 6th, 2018

The Zhang group has received the WSU SEED Grant. We thank WSU for the support!

14 junior faculty receive WSU seed funding

May 16th, 2018

Chris graduated with a Master degree in Chemistry, congratulations! We wish you all the best!

April  13th, 2018

Dr. Zhang has been recognized as one of the outstanding reviewers for for Materials Chemistry Frontiers in 2017.

December 15th, 2017

Dr. Zhang is one of the 2018 ALASKA AIRLINES TRAVEL AWARD Winners. Thank you Alaska Airlines for the support!


August 28th, 2017

We hosted the Campus Adventures kids camp in our new labs. It’s in the The Daily Evergreen.

Check out the news here.

August 5th, 2017

We had a group party to celebrate the successful lab move!


August 2nd, 2017

We have moved to the new labs in Troy. Take a look at the new labs.

July 1st, 2017

Matt has been awarded the Frank A. Fowler Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry! It is an honorable award for a first year graduate student. Congratulations Matt!

July 1st, 2017

Xiaoyu Li joined the group as a graduate student through the MSEP program. Welcome Xiaoyu!

June 1st, 2017

Dr. Leiduan Hao joined the group as a postdoctoral associate. Welcome Leiduan!

May 6th, 2017

Dr. Zhang walked with the 2017 Chemistry graduating class. Congratulations and wish you all a good luck!

May 1st, 2017

Dr. Ji from Oregon State University visited WSU. We learned more about batteries.

February 1st, 2017

The gas adsorption analyzer ASAP2020Plus from Micromeritics has been installed and up running. We are fully equipped.

December 18th, 2016

We have our brand new Glovebox Vigor SciLab and Solvent Purification System installed.

September 27th, 2016

Mr. Matt Hurlock joins the group as a graduate student. Welcome Matt!

September 16th, 2016

Mr. Nick Elms joins the group as a undergraduate researcher. Welcome Nick!

September 1st, 2016

Tiffany Zhao joins the group as a undergraduate researcher. Welcome Tiffany!


We have received more equipment today. Yeah, we have ovens, Rotorvaps,  and Schlenk lines now!!!


July 21st, 2016


We have received more equipment and consumables.


July 19th, 2016


Our iS 10 FTIR with Praying Mantis DRIFT accessory is installed and fully functional!


July 18th, 2016


Congratulations to Chris, she is the recipient of the Graduate School Recruitment Scholarship for STEM disciplines.

July 18th, 2016

We have received more equipment. The lab is almost ready.


July 1st, 2016

Welcome to Chris and Yuwei. 

June 1st, 2016

Dr. Zhang started working at WSU.