A*STAR Outstanding Publications Award
2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017
A*STAR Patent Power Award
2009, 2010 and 2017
Singapore HEALTH Award
(Platinum) 2012, (Gold) 2008 and 2010
BCA Green Mark Award
2013 (Gold) and 2017 (Gold and Goldplus)

ISO Certified (ISO 9001:2008)

OHSAS Certified (SS 506 Part 1:2009/ BS OHSAS 18001:2007

RESEARCH AREAS > Research Staff Details

Green Chemistry and Energy


Group Leader

Tel: 6824 7162
Email: ygzhang@ibn.a-star.edu.sg

View CV

Postdoc Research Associate, Harvard University (USA), 2002-2004
RIKEN Fellow, The Institute of Chemical and Physical Research (Japan), 1996-1997, 2000-2001
Professor, University of Science & Technology of China (China), 1998-2000

Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, 1992
M.S. in Physical Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, 1990
B.S. in Geochemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, 1987

Projects Publications Patents


1. Macromolecular Antimicrobials to Combat Microbes

Chuan Yang, Wei Cheng, Noel Xu, Xin Ding, Shaoqiong Liu, Ashlynn Lee, Majad Khan, Shrinivas Venkataraman, Jeremy Tan, Nor Lizawati Ibrahim, Willy Chin, David Voo, Shujun Gao, Yuan Yuan, Hong Wu, Jackie Y. Ying, Yugen Zhang and Yi Yan Yang

The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistant infections, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), has sparked off a pressing need for innovative antimicrobial treatments. IBN has developed a new class of antimicrobial polymers and peptides that can provide a new arsenal against superbugs. Most modern-day antibiotics act on specific molecular targets within the bacteria. While this yields therapeutic specificity, it also allows resistance development through mutation since the bacterial cell structure is generally preserved. The antimicrobial macromolecules are biodegradable, biocompatible and have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities against bacteria, yeast and fungi, to destroy multidrug-resistant microbes and prevent drug resistance development.

Green Chemistry and Energy

1. Bio-Renewable Chemicals from Biomass and Biomass-Derived Feedstock

Guangshun Yi, Xiukai Li, Xueqin Cao, Siew Ping Teong, Jian Liang Cheong, Yaling Shao, Jinhua Yang, Jackie Y. Ying, Su Seong Lee and Yugen Zhang

Growing environmental concern over the use of fossil fuels and diminishing natural resources have led to an increasing need for a renewable source for energy and chemicals. Biomass, such as wood, corn, sugar cane and waste, can be used to produce fuels and chemicals via new catalytic processes. This project aims to develop green and cost-effective systems for the production of chemicals and materials from raw biomass and biomass-derived feedstock. For example, we have developed platform technologies for converting sugars to furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), ethanol to butadiene, sugar acid to adipic acid, and bio-glycerol to acrylic acid.

2. Catalytic Systems for Green Synthesis, Carbon Dioxide Utilization and Renewable Energy

Jinquan Wang, Xueqin Cao, Yuan Yuan, Xinglong Zhang, Tedrick Salim Lew, Yugen Zhang and Jackie Y. Ying

IBN is investigating the use of green and environmentally friendly technologies for organic synthesis. We are creating highly efficient and highly selective catalysts such as nano-structured metal oxide catalysts and metal-free polymer catalysts, for the dehydration of biomass into chemicals, fuels and materials. We are also working on converting harmful greenhouse gases into useful chemicals or fuels, for example using copper-N-heterocyclic carbene catalyzed transformation of carbon dioxide to carboxylic acid, and N-hetercyclic carbene catalyzed conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol.

3. Heterogeneous Catalysts for Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Synthesis

Jian Liang Cheong, Yaling Shao, Leng Leng Chng, Jackie Y. Ying, Yugen Zhang and Su Seong Lee

Green chemistry involves novel environmentally friendly technologies for organic synthesis and transformations through catalytic reactions. These reactions are essential in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. We have developed heterogeneous catalysts that can achieve excellent reactivity, selectivity and recyclability for a variety of reactions. They can be applied to continuous flow reactors for efficient reaction processes. We have immobilized homogeneous organometallic and organic complexes and bio-catalysts on siliceous mesocellular foams and nanoporous polymers, as well as developed nanocomposites to catalyze a wide variety of organic reactions.

4. Porous Materials for Carbon Capture and Water Treatment

Jinquan Wang, Guangshun Yi and Yugen Zhang

Carbon dioxide emission and water contamination are two major public concerns. This project aims to develop novel functional porous materials, such as poly-melamine-formaldehyde (mPMF), which can be used to capture carbon dioxide from air and remove toxic metals from water. Our multifunctional systems are able to capture and convert carbon dioxide directly to useful chemicals. They are also designed to remove toxic heavy metals from water and kill bacteria for water treatment applications.


18 Sep
Falling Walls Lab Singapore 2017

6 Dec - 10 Dec
5th Nano Today Conference

Event Calendar   


Biodegradable Cationic Poly(carbonates): Effect of Varying Side Chain Hydrophobicity on Key Aspects of Gene Transfection
Acta Biomaterialia, (2017)
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.03.027.
(IF: 6.025) article

Short Synthetic β-Sheet Antimicrobial Peptides for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Burn Wound Infections
Advanced Healthcare Materials, 6 (2017) 1601134.
(IF: 5.760) article

Highly Potent Antimicrobial Polyionenes with Rapid Killing Kinetics, Skin Biocompatibility and In Vivo Bactericidal Activity
Biomaterials, 127 (2017) 36-48.
(IF: 8.387) article



Research Positions

Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology   31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos, #04-01, Singapore 138669   Tel: +65 6824 7000   Fax: +65 6478 9080   Email: enquiry@ibn.a-star.edu.sg   |   View IBN Privacy Statement